Thursday, 12 November 2015

Inking Out

Nine years ago Mr Ink (AKA Patrick - although not Patrick Ink) opened up his retail shop at the bottom of the high street. Since that time many people have wondered how the shop has managed to stay open. Reports of people actually going into the shop were after all, few and far between.

But, on the eve (or thereabouts) of the closing of what has become a strangely comforting feature of our high street, the Worcester Park Blog can reveal all...

When Patrick took over the premises near the bottom of Central Road, the place was in a mess. Consequently he got a very good deal on the rental of the shop and set about fitting out the shop, doing all the work himself - as many independent retailers do, resulting in the ink boutique we have become familiar with over the last near decade. That lease ran for 9 years, and runs out in a couple of weeks time.

What most of us didn't know was that the vast majority of Mr Ink's business came not from people walking in off the street but through business to business work that remained largely unseen to the rest of us. Having the shop front may have raised his profile but having to always be ready to serve at the counter hasn't always meant he's been able to serve his other clients as well as he would like.

And so Mr Ink is not, I repeat - not - going out of business. He is closing the shop front retail business in order to focus on his business to business work, which is where his real business has been the whole time. He will be able to do this, as so many businesses are these days, from an office at home not only lowing his overheads but also allowing him to serve his business clients even better, for instance by delivering directly to them.

I think Worcester Park will miss Mr Ink once he has gone and the ever present ink emporium is no longer. I must admit that I had become a semi-regular customer in recent times - I do go through rather a lot of ink. We will certainly not welcome yet another empty shop in the high street. I hope the landlord will price the rent of the unit with a view to getting someone in quickly - but that's another story.

The blog would like to wish Patrick well in his transition to a new business model and hopes it is successful. In the meanwhile readers have only a couple more days to pop in and Make Patrick an offer for the last few bits 'n' pieces he has left in the store. Go to it...

Update 4:20pm Saturday 14th November

Mr Ink will be closing his retail shop door for the last time at 5pm this afternoon. That gives you just over half an hour to pop in a grab a quick bargain - mind you there's not much left...