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Shopkeeper who fought chain stores coming to Primrose Hill forced out by rising rents

PUBLISHED: 14:17 28 June 2013 | UPDATED: 14:17 28 June 2013

Local shopkeepers and residents protest outside Space NK shop in Primrose Hill, with Phil Cowan (centre). Picture: Nigel Sutton

Local shopkeepers and residents protest outside Space NK shop in Primrose Hill, with Phil Cowan (centre). Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Independent shops in Primrose Hill are under threat from rising rents, forcing one trader to pack up and leave the exclusive area.

Phil Cowan, the shop owner behind the campaign to keep chain stores from moving into Regent’s Park Road, shut up shop at Primrose Hill Interiors in Regent’s Park Road on Monday.

At least three other shops in the area are being forced to pay higher rents, including Primrose Hill Pets in Regent’s Park Road.

Mr Cowan said: “It all kicked off with the beauty shop Space NK, who paid three times the amount for each square foot that anyone else had before. That set a benchmark for rents. Only chain stores can afford that price now.

“I don’t know how any business makes a living with those overheads. Primrose Hill is known for its quirkiness and I’m worried that is going to change.”

Mr Cowan ran a campaign called No Chains in Primrose Hill last year to try to stop Space NK opening a store in Regent’s Park Road, but the company went ahead with its plans in December.

A pop-up art gallery run by Mr Cowan and his landlord will open in place of Primrose Hill Interiors until a new tenant moves in.


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