Oct 21 2013

Greggs South Harrow Closes Down

greggs_logoIt looks like Greggs the Baker in Northolt Road, South Harrow has closed down in the last few days, according to a notice in the windows.

We’ve not heard anything as to why this might be, but it’s another nail in the coffin for South Harrow, which has already seen many business crumble under the recession, rising rents and lower custom.

That said, we do hear rumours that the old Woolworth (which then became a pound shop, then a ‘Frescho’ retailer) might be turning into a Tesco sometime soon, which might make sense, as they don’t have any presence along the Northolt Road. We’ll keep watch and see what happens.


Photo credit: @jahnavi_dodger

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  1. Justsaying

    is it because Wenzels is better?

  2. jonathan das

    just heard that old woolworths to be poundland
    could have been worse could have been 99p stores
    we have standard in harrow

  3. Justsaying

    Jonathan you are so right, South Harrow looks very poor with cheap nasty shops everywhere.

  4. jonathan das

    its ashame because south harrow used to be a great shopping area
    you did not need to go to harrow to get anything
    now you cant even buy a pair of shoe hopeful thing will get better
    probly not in my life time maybe my great great grand children time

  5. gary roberts

    I spoke to 1 of Greggs staff a few weeks ago. She said they were doing a fairly good trade. But the lease was up and they couldn’t afford the greatly increased rent. Same reason the shoe shop a few doors down closed recently. I have heard it’s going to be a jewellers.

  6. Justsaying

    There really should be some sort of ceiling for commercial rent. As if paying the council rates isn’t bad enough, and then on top of that, paying an inflated rent to a greedy landlord. No wonder there are only a few “A” rated outlets in South Harrow.

  7. jonathan das

    maybe the land lord and concils should rember if the charge to much people just wont pay
    and no one will rent the property and we will be left with wastland of bookers shops an empty shops or am looking at this to simply
    what a future

  8. Praxis Reform

    Just a thought, but maybe the Landlords aren’t so bothered about rent…

    According to the last available figures I could find from the Office for National Statistics, the average price of a house in London has increased by more in the past year than the average wage earned by one of its residents.

    What I mean to say is, the price of the average house in London has jumped by almost £39,000 in the last 12 months, whilst the average Londoner’s pre-tax annual salary is £32,509.

  9. Justsaying

    Praxis the problem with not having a tenant is that the greedy council still charge you rates for an empty property. It a no win situation. The tenant cannot afford the rent and the rates and leaves. The landlord needs the tenant to stay so that he doesn’t become liable for the rates,. The only winners are the councils . They don’t care if we have rows and rows of empty shops. They still get paid their rates.

  10. Praxis Reform

    I’m usually the first one to criticise the council for their lack of interest in the local area. But there’s a bigger picture here, let me try to explain:

    Harrow council
    only retains 30% of the Business rates they collect; the other 50% goes to central Government, with the final 20% going to the GLA. I know this doesn’t help solve the problem you highlight, but the Council would be negligent if it didn’t follow the laws set down for it by central Government.

    Keep in mind also that Commercial rental is different from Residential renting, in that the rental period is often much longer, with a contract stipulating upwards only rent reviews, the Tenant is usually completely responsible for all maintenance and repairs, and will need to sub-let the premises or continue paying the Landlord, even after the business has closed. All of which makes commercial properties very desirable to Investment funds.

    Now, I don’t know who owns the former Greggs South Harrow freehold, but I’ll guess that like most High Street property, it’ll be some big investment fund… If that’s that case, the cost of leaving the building empty will simply be deducted from the taxation due on the profits of the fund’s other rented properties.

    What the Landlords will absolutely not want to do is lock themselves into a long-term contract at a relatively low rate now, if they calculate they can charge a much greater rental in a year or two’s time, or book a quick profit by flipping the vacant premises to another fund or a Developer, etc.

    So, whilst Harrow Council can’t force new businesses to open, they can do their best to try to attract them to the area with tax breaks for new businesses for example, which is something I’ve said they should do for a long while. However, the stereotypical story is that when a Landlord sees a business doing well, he or she will be arguing for upward rent reviews, until that business is no longer doing well, and either closes down or is able to move somewhere more affordable.

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