Wish list for Sydenham

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Steveofsyd
Posts: 306
Joined: 23 Feb 2013 19:05
Location: Wiverton Road

Wish list for Sydenham

Post by Steveofsyd »

I did one of these a few years ago. I'm excluding Kirkdale but including our Retail Park which in my opinion was very poorly planned as it does not retain trade for more than a few mins, due to lack of variety. The offerings Judy don't compliment each other.
So what would you like to see down there and on our High Street. Consider the following:
- stimulate Repeat trade
- bring in families with variety and entertainment
- keep people in the area so that visitors will walk up and down . This will benefit the smaller local shops and pop ups as visitors might not have made the trip otherwise. Like Beckenham...I've found so many tiny little shops whilst in the area.
- importantly bring visitors in from other areas...new money into the our high street is needed desperately
- stop us having to always go elsewhere to get things we want.

I'd also appreciate it if you all respected everyone's suggestions as long as they were constructive.
Remember it's a Wish List
Steveofsyd
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Location: Wiverton Road

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by Steveofsyd »

Overwhelming response from everyone. Do we have any imagination? If we don't set out a target we have nothing to aim for.
Larky
Posts: 86
Joined: 1 Jan 2017 22:14
Location: Sydenahm

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by Larky »

I am looking forward to seeing the new theatre (over the Post Office) running some fab shows, hope they will also show movies, new and old.

More places to eat.

And something lovely in the space that was Budgen, I hear Woolworths are making a come back into the marketplace
RJM
Posts: 134
Joined: 2 Jan 2016 15:30
Location: Sydenham

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by RJM »

A clothes/gift shop like Bunka in FH would be nice. Good for a browse, some quality items for presents, that sort of thing - basically a local version of Oliver Bonas (I appreciate, this is very much what I would like, not necessarily for everyone). A good bakery! The theatre speace will hopefully be really good as well.
Larky
Posts: 86
Joined: 1 Jan 2017 22:14
Location: Sydenahm

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by Larky »

Oh and South of the River, a shop that has branches in Beckenham and Crystal Palace, a girly shop, sorry men, but some lovely items for you to buy for your ladies
JRobinson
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Location: De Frene Rd

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by JRobinson »

ten pin bowling, snooker/pool hall, bar/café - Co-Op/Budgens site would make a great Arcade/games/pool type sports bar/café.
leenewham
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Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by leenewham »

To be honest, it's a bit pointless. It's been talked about many times.

Real change comes when there are a number of empty shops and small interesting businesses move in. Some call it gentrification when these small businesses move in selling interesting things based on peoples passions, often with low set up costs. I just call it change and making an area nicer and more interesting. I've been in Sydenham almost 10 years and it hasn't changed that much. It's become slightly nicer, with a good butcher etc. But in the main the shops are the same as they were when I first came here.

Councils can make a difference by using their planning designations and supporting strong traders and community groups.

Sydenham hasn't really changed because not enough people want it to and the council doesn't really want to get involved as its priorities are Catford and (to a much larger degree) Deptford.

Drawing up a wish list is nice, but it's not how people really behave. People go to different areas for different reasons. People travel. I go to the retail park because of B&Q. I got to Crystal Palace if I want to look at antiques or go to a really good restaurant, I go to Forest Hill for the Horniman, Post Office or pools and grab a bite to eat at one of the excellent (and good selection of) cafes they have, I go to Hayes for the charity shops, same with Beckenham (plus the cinema). I don't really go to Sydenham except for a few great local businesses such as Wellbeing, Sugarhill, Trattoria, On the Hoof, Kirkdale books, Musti's etc, but even then it's rare. I find it a depressing place to be in all honesty.

I think the best way forward for Sydenham is to focus on food to compliment what is already here. More cafes, more niche places that sell good quality food to build on the likes of Wellbeing, PFC etc and the social element. JRobinsons ideas are spot on. I think it can support it.
mosy
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Location: London

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by mosy »

My wish list tends to stop before getting started when Viability is a heading. Disposable income is more squeezed than ever. Entertainment centres like cinemas, snooker or dance halls don't generate much total income unless profit can be made also from significant food or drink alongside, but then it's no longer a cheap night out for teens or those on a limited budget, who are quite poorly served at the moment. Maybe one could work if there are rates concessions for not-for-profit charities with a Bill Gates as a sponsor ;)

The reality is that shops like Primark generate more repeat business than many and although people prefer to see niche shops, they don't particularly buy from them regularly. However, taking leenewham's point, such shops need external visitor traffic too which won't arrive without at least one major draw.

So I'll stick with the hugely popular Primark in the Budgens space, or one of those direct-from-factory designer clothes outlets. My logic being that they are "draws" and not only for younger shoppers; also if people know they've come away with a bargain they might feel like splashing the cash saved on lunch or coffee and cake. (Next door to the free carpark too.) With a younger demographic draw, Sydenham might finally get a wine bar instead of another estate agents.
leenewham
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Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by leenewham »

The Budgens site is too small for Primark. And Primark is one brand I absolutely hate.

I couldn't support a store that was caught out in 2008 for using child labour, then said it had solved the problem but was caught out again in 2009 for the same thing.

In 2013 Primark paid out $12m in compensation after 1,100 garment workers died in Bangladesh when the eight-storey Rana Plaza factory providing some of their clothing collapsed.

In June 2014, a customer from Ireland found an SOS note wrapped in a prison ID card in the pocket of trousers purchased from a Primark store several years earlier alleged that prisoners were forced to work "like oxen" making fashion clothes for export for 15 hours per day, and the food they were given wouldn't be fit for dogs or pigs.

Once is a mistake. But when it happens time and time again, it's a business model. They also avoid paying tax according to Ethical Consumer. According to Glass Door they pay around £6.50 an hour to their sales assistants in the UK.

No thanks and its the wrong place for them anyway. Sydenham isn't a large department store high street. It's not really a place to come for clothes. People don't shop like that anymore.
Larky
Posts: 86
Joined: 1 Jan 2017 22:14
Location: Sydenahm

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by Larky »

Why is it everything that leenewham writes seems to be depressing and on a downward spiral.

I like Primark, but you are right, Bugdens is too small a space for it but Next at Bell Green really works, perhaps a small M & S or the like. I will email South of the River, they would be fab in SE26.

Sydenham used to have many years ago Clarks Shoes, Woolworths, Sainsbury's etc
Steveofsyd
Posts: 306
Joined: 23 Feb 2013 19:05
Location: Wiverton Road

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by Steveofsyd »

Regarding eateries, we also need mid point between restaurants and the coffee shops that we have (which don't offer enough variety food wise). The type we need are those are busy daytime and evening.
That would be places like Nandos or Pizza Express. One or 2 of those would bring in people and that would help build momentum in the top end.
Notwithstanding those, I'd love to see some antique shops, also we need a bike shop that offers servicing too.
And why don't we have a travel agent - I go all he way to Bromley.
A deli offering olives etc, meats, cheeses ....lovely
Anyone ever been to Flight Club - darts pubs. Maybe enliven one of our tired establishments.
Would love a Cinema too.
Larky
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Location: Sydenahm

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by Larky »

Bills restaurants seem to be popping up and would fit perfectly.

I think that the cinema could work in the new theatre space.
leenewham
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Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by leenewham »

Larky wrote:Why is it everything that leenewham writes seems to be depressing and on a downward spiral.

I like Primark, but you are right, Bugdens is too small a space for it but Next at Bell Green really works, perhaps a small M & S or the like. I will email South of the River, they would be fab in SE26.

Sydenham used to have many years ago Clarks Shoes, Woolworths, Sainsbury's etc
Such as being happy that the Greyhound is reopening and rebuilt or that Nandos was opening, or how Sugahill, Trattoria, On The Hoof etc are all great businesses (and how Sugahills new signage looks great)? Or posting to supporting the new theatre and the pop-up shop in Penge that we also helped out with. I think you are just looking at the wrong posts Larky!

I don't like Primark because I don't think exploiting children to make goods for 60p a day is good. I don't like companies that force suppliers to make products incredibly cheaply to the point that 1100 people die in their dodgy factories. I find it rather sad that many people simply turn a blind eye to this sort of behavior. I tend to buy stuff cheaper than Primark from charity shops, I buy less and it lasts longer. I don't like brands that exploit people, it's why I quite my job when I was designing packaging for Tesco.

I loved Woolworths when it was around, but it's a fact that the way people shop has changed. If high streets and businesses ignore this, high street swill struggle. Woolworths ignored how people's habits changed. The best place for big box stores like the ones you mention is in a retail park near similar stores so people have choice. It works in a similar way for high streets, but they are pretty organic in the way they evolve. It's not negative to say that, it's a fact of life.

Building on an existing offer works. People like choice, people like convenience, people like an experience and people like perceived value and to be in nice spaces.
mosy
Posts: 4094
Joined: 21 Sep 2007 20:28
Location: London

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by mosy »

leenewham: Just one point to avoid diverting the thread. Shoppers should be entitled to buy goods in UK stores with a clear conscience expecting that they are there legally and fit for purpose. All companies are ruthless to a greater or lesser degree, however it's the regulatory bodies who are responsible for overseeing the legality of their practices, not the consumer.

I think you have it upside down to blame shoppers for blind eyes. It is companies - virtually all of them now including EU and US companies - who outsource. Why? To gain profits, not to altruistically benefit shoppers. It is business which drives the disposable society, not consumers. Keep the blame where it's due please.
mosy
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Location: London

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by mosy »

Steveofsyd wrote:Regarding eateries, we also need mid point between restaurants and the coffee shops that we have (which don't offer enough variety food wise). The type we need are those are busy daytime and evening.
That would be places like Nandos or Pizza Express. One or 2 of those would bring in people and that would help build momentum in the top end.
Notwithstanding those, I'd love to see some antique shops, also we need a bike shop that offers servicing too.
And why don't we have a travel agent - I go all he way to Bromley.
A deli offering olives etc, meats, cheeses ....lovely
Anyone ever been to Flight Club - darts pubs. Maybe enliven one of our tired establishments.
Would love a Cinema too.
The trouble is that some of those have been and gone so I guess weren't viable.
Bike shop near F.Hill station and one on Kirkdale near the roundabout. I'm not sure why they didn't survive (too hilly or people service their own?) but maybe it's time for a revival given cycle lanes.

Ditto antique shops, Kirkdale and Sydenham Road. Maybe minimal size of living abodes with no space for ornaments and cumbersome furniture? Or just items out of place in a modern setting?

Delis have come and gone too, although PFC has a huge selection and Shirin's counter is excellent. Not quite the same as a traditional cooked meat, pies and cheese shop though which I'm sure would get lots of custom but I've no idea what such a fresh food's business model would look like as an independent. Ironically,
Sainsbury was in Sydenham Road decades ago as a small shop selling exactly that, and still do at Bell Green. No such luck at their Greyhound mini store.

My uppermost wish list item that'd make the biggest difference would be a tunnel or flyover that took through traffic away Sydenham Road. I can but dream :)
vbsydenham
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Location: Edinburgh

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by vbsydenham »

Just ban through traffic from Kent Road to North of the railway bridge - Our problem is now Penge and Forest Hill's problem.
Pally
Posts: 1478
Joined: 2 Aug 2014 05:38
Location: Sydenham

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by Pally »

Larky wrote:Why is it everything that leenewham writes seems to be depressing and on a downward spiral.

I like Primark, but you are right, Bugdens is too small a space for it but Next at Bell Green really works, perhaps a small M & S or the like. I will email South of the River, they would be fab in SE26.

Sydenham used to have many years ago Clarks Shoes, Woolworths, Sainsbury's etc
I don't think Lee's posts are negative per se ...more realistic within his relevant experience within the signage industry, of developing areas! I haven't actually met Lee but I have picked up that like a lot of us, he has lost heart over Sydenham developing ....as have I I think! I watch Forest Hill steadily growing, same Council! The Portas Money of a few years ago left some marks...? In Sydenham the market came and went, with little response or explanation regarding the lack of getting in a company like other markets! The banners have gone; good but dread to think how much money they cost ....or if we are getting any back from that contract as they have gone! Lee said in a different thread that the Sydenham Assembly was not a brainstorm of where to go with Sydenham but a presentation of options already thought up! There are clearly people working away at this which is great, but it feels like half a step forward, 2 steps back. I agree with Lee about the positives ...On the Hoof, Trattoria Rafael , Billings, Fresh and Fruity,.Lots of other positives ...friendly newsagents, PFC, friendly Sainsbury's local, Kirkdale bookshop,the theatre, Sydenham arts festival, events like shopkeepers joining in Halloween and Easter bonnets parade, haberashery/curtain shop; the Dolphin; Pet Shop; Pound Plus; Cake shop; Inkx.....and so on ....BUT what is the long term strategy? I have no idea and no idea how to find out. My being away a great deal doesn't help but even so!

Anyway a wish list apart from aspects of above ...a cheese shop/deli (Billings not bad for cheese though!); pavements free of grease and chewing gum (and restaurants causing grease stopped from dumping leaking rubbish!); a clear plan for a cohesive high street; traders group leading aspects of development, listened to; help for cleaning up shop frontages, (not necessarily changing , just clean!); a monthly market developed using a professional company. I'll stop there I think!
stuart
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Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by stuart »

Pally wrote:pavements free of grease and chewing gum (and restaurants causing grease stopped from dumping leaking rubbish!);
I seem to remember people voting overwhelmingly for the SydSoc initiative of the purchase of a chewing gum removing machine from the community budget at a Sydenham Assembly with an assurance this would be a nuisance of the past. What ... err ... happened to our dosh?

Stuart
Pally
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Joined: 2 Aug 2014 05:38
Location: Sydenham

Re: Wish list for Sydenham

Post by Pally »

stuart wrote:
Pally wrote:pavements free of grease and chewing gum (and restaurants causing grease stopped from dumping leaking rubbish!);
I seem to remember people voting overwhelmingly for the SydSoc initiative of the purchase of a chewing gum removing machine from the community budget at a Sydenham Assembly with an assurance this would be a nuisance of the past. What ... err ... happened to our dosh?

Stuart
Good question Stuart! Who knows ...amongst a few other mysteries ....!!!!
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