Keep It Local campaign saves West Hampstead shop
PUBLISHED: 14:48 08 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:47 07 September 2010
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AN independent shop on the brink of disaster after 12 years on West Hampstead's high street has been saved with the help of our Keep it Local campaign. Together with the Ham&High s ongoing campaign to help independent traders, a petition by loyal customer
AN independent shop on the brink of disaster after 12 years on West Hampstead's high street has been saved with the help of our Keep it Local campaign.
Together with the Ham&High's ongoing campaign to help independent traders, a petition by loyal customers pleading with the landlord to reduce the rent for Hampstead Electrical has had the desired effect.
Last month the West End Lane shop was facing closure as it battled rising rents, the credit crunch and huge competition from bigger chain stores.
But now the much-loved store has been given a last-minute reprieve because the landlord has lowered the rent for the next year.
After coverage in the Ham&High last year, more than 150 people signed the petition which was sent to the landlord in December in a bid to enable the shop to stay open.
Owner Farid Afshar said: "The petition by West Hampstead residents definitely helped a lot. I have got a good feeling it did make a difference.
"And the Ham&High really did help me and I am very pleased and very grateful. The locals were really, really helpful and everyone wanted me to stay which was very nice and made me happy.
"They reduced the rent for a year which is very helpful and after that they are going to put it back up again.
"They also agreed I could pay monthly deposits instead of quarterly in advance which is better."
Although he has been given a last-minute lifeline, Mr Afshar is still worried about the future and what the credit crunch will do to small shops.
"I am glad about the lower rent but I am not very happy because retail is tough at the moment," he said.
"Things are not looking so bright for this year and it will be tough for small shops. At the end of the year we are going to reassess.
"It is a help but I am still struggling with the bills and the rates are sky high which is ridiculous.
"At the end of the year we will see what happens. I know it will be a tough year but we have got to play around and hope that the locals carry on supporting us."
Residents are equally pleased the shop has stayed open. Chairman of the Crediton Hill Residents Association Larry Trachtenberg said: "It is a little victory which is fantastic because it is really difficult to retain really good local shops.
"To be able to have a local electrical shop where you can go for good advice is great. I am really pleased he has managed to stay open and the community really do support him. He is a lovely guy and it is great news."
And West Hampstead resident Angela Gardner said: "It is a great little shop - one of the most useful shops in West End Lane.
"I am delighted to hear the good news. They very much deserve to stay and be allowed to stay because it is a fantastic shop. It is very good for West Hampstead.
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