Sunday, 9 October 2011

God Bye

I see that 'Closing Down' has appeared in the window of Zeus Menswear shop on Central Road. It's always a crying shame to see shops closing down in Worcester Park - especially small independent ones (which, lets face it, nearly always seem to be the casualties).

That said, should I be bemoaning the passing of a store that I've never even been in to? I wonder how many of my fellow Worcester Parkers 'keep meaning to go in' to Zeus and many other shops in Worcester Park but walk on by every time.

Farewell, Zeus. I did mean to go in and spend some money. But I didn't.

18 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Hi Street said...

In the 4 years I have lived here, and walked past almost every day, the shop never changed it's window display, and I never saw any customers within. I can honestly say that I have never been in it either, though I have had no need to shop there. However the unit will more than likely become empty, or a hairdressers/charity shop/italian and that is a shame. Another business folds.

Worcester Park is 'coming like a ghost town. That's not Special.

Anonymous said...

Every independent needs the community support.

Worcester Park you have to trust that we provide good quality products at the correct price and a good service.

Oh and also, we need you to shop with us!

Anonymous said...

i went in once, the rag trade is a tough gig in worcester park.

KT4 shopper said...

No doubt many in KT4 will lament the passing of another independent trader ... as they drive to Tesco's.

But as they fill their trolleys, you can bet they'll soon get over their heartfelt disappointment ... that local people don't do more to support local businesses.

Anonymous said...

I spent about £100 notes in Zeus once. Top gear, mate at a great price. Still got my Ben Sherman zip up and my duck & cover jacket. And I drove all the way from Littlehampton to go there.

IOWDunc said...

I went in once many, many years ago when I lived in WP. Bought a shirt-very expensive-but it was great quality compared to the old Sutton Market (sadly missed) where I used to buy all my clothes. It lasted several years, but I never went back to buy another. Hope it's not my fault that they've shut down!

Anonymous said...

Went in there when saw closing down sign thinking better see what I was missing out on. My 3 year old saw the half height mirrored till and started dancing to her reflection to the music they had on.
Just know she will really miss Zeus.

WP Man said...

Whilst it is sad in some ways to see a store closing, I don’t feel guilty about not shopping in there. If most men in WP are like me, they only go clothes shopping a few times a year: have a look around the sales after Xmas and get some new things before the summer holiday. Was a tiny shop like that therefore viable in today’s high street? I agree with Hi Street – I don’t ever remember the window display changing and it never enticed me in. When it’s only a short bus ride to Kingston where you’ve got everything from Primark to high end designer labels – why would I go clothes shopping in WP?

I do shop locally and try to support local traders where I can but also how many barbers/hairdressers can you reasonably be expected to use!? I can’t support them all! What we really need is some decent ‘town planning’ and support from the Council to help the right businesses to establish. A political party newsletter through my door the other day suggested a Doctor’s surgery on Central Road – great idea – there have been lots of complaints about a lack of medical provision. If we’ve got enough pizza/Italian restaurants/takeaways why not set up something we haven’t got like a Thai restaurant (unless I’ve missed it!).

Whilst it seems to be trendy to shun the big names like Waitrose, Pizza Express and Pound Land – they always look busy. Would it really be that bad to have a few more big high street names? I can imagine the comments if say Starbucks were to set up here but lots of commuters would be in there on the way to work getting their tall, skinny, frothy, double shot goodness knows whats ...

How many of you have filled in the Council’s survey about enhancing Worcester Park and North Cheam only 160 according to Sutton’s website ... There’s potentially £2m to invest in things like supporting businesses and redeveloping vacant properties – don’t just complain on here, have your say and help do something about it!

Magic Dragon said...

I have no idea where this is/was, having lived in WP for nearly 30 years. Never heard of it! I know where Dolland and Achison are though - perhaps it's time I paid them a visit!

Anonymous said...

Shame it's closing,good selection of quality clothes,bit dear ,but at least local.Been located there for for close on 20 years.The closing down sign went up in the window in July,bit surprised no one notice till now.

Hi Street said...

WP Man. Thanks for agreeing! I have asked on numerous occasions on here when there has been a debate about town planning, if anyone actually sits on a business meeting and thinks about the need for the new italian or hairdresser.

I go to the bigger name shops for convenience (open later on my way home) and range of choice, but use a local barber, charity shop for books, bank, opticians, hardware store, vets, chemist, post office, newsagent.

There does need to be more choice of shops but of a different nature of business. I'm sure there are now more than 14 hairdressers. Just waiting for when one will open in the old Drury and Cole premises ;)

Fill out the survey people. There are plenty of boxes to comment on improvements.

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about Zeus. However, the good thing about charity shops is that browsers are welcome by the very nature of the shop: you, after all, don't know exactly what you'll find. You don't go in knowing what you'll want - unless you've seen it in the window.

Remember Auntie Wainwright in Last of the Summer Wine? Independent traders - though I admit I know nothing about running a shop - need to stop making people feel that they have to buy something.

How many times have we avoided a shop fearing we'll come out with something we don't want because of an over-domineering shopkeeper? And there's always that sense of guilt when in an independent shop that we should be buying something simply to support a local business.

I'm reminded of a small independent trader locally - but not Worcester Park. When I go in, I feel I get treated like a shoplifter. I want to browse, yet get pounced on. I feel bullied into buying something because I want to prove I'm not a shoplifter. I'll now only go in if I know exactly what I want.

Yes, I know there are over-domineering shop assistants in chain stores but it's easier to leave empty-handed without feeling guilty. It's somehow easier to say "I'm just looking".

I think we need to welcome the chain stores and get Sutton council to lift restrictions so that empty retail units can be converted into houses (with parking...). Sorry but the high street would look tidier.

Going to Sutton for the chain stores isn't a wonderful experience for everyone - I can't be the only one who does not enjoy trailing in and out of hot, sticky, noisy love song shops for hours on end.

Small Town Boy said...

Hi Street - I thought the 'Preview' menswear shop was Zeus. That too has never changed it's window display in the last 4 years. How that does business is beyond me.

The Worcester Park shopping experience is a joke. However if I need a haircut, an italian meal, a browse of the charity bargains, and a sightseeing tour of the empty shop units i'd have a superb time.

Geoff said...

Hi Small Town Boy. I guess it's an age thing but Preview Menswear sells some nice stuff. Lots of labels if you are into that sort of thing and also it's all quality gear. It might be worth looking past the window display and actually going into the shop.

WP Man, I like you go to a clothes shop about twice a year, and honestly, it's Preview Menswear. That's not to say that I won't buy clothes anywhere else but if I'm on a mission, then Preview is a good as any Kingston retailer if not better.

Interestingly though, I thought about the local retailer on a recent grocery excursion and visited them instead of Waitrose. And I think I will continue to do so from now on. But, don't kid yourself that Waitrose are more expensive in comparison, on the basis of that excursion they are not. However, for me that's not the issue because the local indeoendent probably struggles with costs more so than the chains and the difference was pence. So, over to you Sutton council to support the independents with lower rates based on the profitability of the independent rather than bureaucratic greed.

Anonymous said...

I was interested to read Anon's experience that they feel 'pressured into purchasing' by shopkeepers in the High Street - except, notably charity shops.

In contrast, I've found shopkeepers pretty relaxed about selling. The only time I can really recall being pressured by a shopkeeper, was strangely enough, in the Geranium Charity Shop.

It seems that in the Geranium, if you hand over a note, there is an expectation that you should go without any change. If you question this unofficial store policy, the 'lady in red' literally sees red! Not to worry, there are 7 other 'competitiors'.

WP gent said...

Magic Dragon really should get out more and support the local shops. D&A closed months ago and is now Boots the Opticians

Magic Dragon said...

Dear WP gent,
True, I'd never noticed the name Zeus - it was probably the shop that people said was expensive and therefore ignored probably leading to its demise. As for D&A becoming Boots - brownie points to you for noticing my mistake. Be nice to return to some nice friendly banter on this Blog not the recurring sarcasm that is putting off people joining in!

Gordo's Neighbour said...

D&A did not shut down. D&A merged with Boots in 2009 and all D&A outlets are gradually being rebranded Boots Opticians. The people running the shop are still the same.

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