So the Camden New Journal reports today that Space NK is set to open in Primrose Hill next Saturday, despite a growing 1200-strong petition in the neighbourhood to ban chain shops.
Being P-Hill, big name celebs have waded in too, with pleas from Mary Portas, Gary Kemp, Sam Taylor-Johnson, and Sadie Frost to keep the area chain-free (and support the independent beauty salon Lost In Beauty rather than Space NK). But we’re genuinely confused: isn’t there already a branch of Nicholas, who have over 20 wine shops in the capital? And CP Hart Bathrooms, with – at the last count – 10? Furthermore John D Wood estate agents have 14 offices in London alone.
The subject of what is or isn’t a chain, and whether we want or don’t want them, is one that evokes a justifiably heated response. A few months back reader Denis Peper spoke right here of his ideal of a ‘chain-free’ Kentish Town: ‘How many other branches should we allow a company to have elsewhere? None? Two? Five? This is an important decision that would affect the final outcome. None would ensure originality, but would also prevent creative businesses such as Pizza East setting up shop, whereas a low but greater-than-zero number would not. Should we make an exception for banks? What about estate agents?’
Peper’s article drew a huge response from both sides of the argument. But even then it was difficult for people to set the parameters on what is a chain and what isn’t.
So, we wondered, what do Kentishtowners think of the petition against Space NK in Primrose Hill? What is the difference between Nicholas and Space NK? And would you object to them opening a branch on Kentish Town Road?
Oh, and whilst we’re at it, what about Costa Coffee opening in Tufnell Park?
Over to you.