Rowan Moore has written an interesting piece about the future of retail in tomorrow’s Observer.
I’m interested in this topic, as my readers will know, because in East London, where he and I both live, there is a great deal of pleasure to be gained from small-scale, locally based places of consumption: the local farmer’s market, small traders like Mouse Tail Coffee Stores in the Whitechapel Road and the Green Truffle in the Roman Road, Breit, the new bread shop under the railway arches off Vallance Road, which I wrote about last week. These sorts of shops are opening up, not closing. They are not big monoliths, but versions of the sorts of shops which still thrive in Paris and Rome: run by individuals, specially sourced, which are protected in those cities by legislation rather than priced out of business as in much of London by extortionate rent and rates; and are a pleasure to be in unlike the chains which have so obviously crucified the high streets.
Today was Small Business Saturday in Tower Hamlets. Something to celebrate:-