Save Our Shops: Buy from an Allders concession this week

From the Editor
Allders, Croydon’s landmark department store for 150 years, stands on the brink of closure.

The administrators were called in last Friday, the Closing Down signs went up at the weekend, the website’s offline. Things are grim.

In central Croydon the SOS has gone out: Save Our Shops.

Nearly 1,000 full- and part-time Allders staff face losing their jobs, while the many small businesses that ran concessions under the Allders roof face oblivion, as the store could take them down with it, since several have gone months without receiving their takings, which had to be banked with Allders.

Therefore, Inside Croydon is calling on all our readers, and residents from the whole of Croydon and south London, to rally around just a little bit in the coming few days. Whether it is tomorrow, with Thursday’s late-night shopping, or over the weekend, we want you to try to do some shopping at Allders.

It needs to be more than mere window-shopping, mind. Go out and buy that little something that you’ve been putting off spending on for a few months. There’s a bit of a sale on – maybe you could pick up a few bargains to hoard away as Christmas presents for later in the year.

But above all, try to do your spending with one of the many concessions that are still operating in Allders. These small businesses, many of them local, hard-working family-run concerns, are among the biggest victims, and the biggest losers in all of this. A little bit of extra trade in the next few days and weeks could make the difference between their retail business surviving or going under.

Hopefully, the concessions will help you identify them when you are in the store by creating some simple signs along the lines of: “We operate as a concession in Allders. Help your local and independent businesses”.

East moved out on Friday, but those who remain include include Chesca, James Lakeland, CC, Viyella, HATZ, Chilli Chutney, Ghost, Ciro and Basler.

It’ll be some time yet before Mary Portas rolls into town with her TV crew, a £100,000 production budget provided by the government, and her attitude, for what many fear will amount to little more than a makeover of Exchange Square, off Surrey Street.

What the small businesses that operate within Allders need is urgent help now.

And you can do your bit.

  • What do you think could be done on a local level to help the borough’s businesses? Post your comments and ideas below.

Inside Croydon was the first local website to report on Allders’ financial problems last week. Catch-up with our coverage here:

  • Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon. Not from Redhill.
  • Post your comments on this article below. If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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5 Responses to Save Our Shops: Buy from an Allders concession this week

  1. A Huge thank you for your support over this very hard time for over 800 staff at Allders…..your time and efforts are truly appreciated.

  2. Keep Croydon Council at arm’s length: that’s the most important tactic.

    The present Conservative administration has cocked things up, as you have rightly pointed out on numerous occasions.

    But the minority Labour group has a poor record too; who frittered away the LEGI money?

    Both parties have been too keen to listen to council officers, most of whom know absolutely nothing about commerce.

    The town’s surviving businesses need to pool their resources; they must identify the problems; agree on a series of short- medium- and long-term solutions and put their case to the borough.

    Too often in the past, business leaders have deferred to the council. A synthetic smile has been their only response to crack-pot initiatives dreamed up by well-meaning but ignorant public servants.

    This time business needs to set out its own stall, free from council interference. Once its ideas are public knowledge – and only then – it can talk to the council to see if there is common ground.

    It could all end in a blazing row: better that than a slow commercial death as ever more shoppers vote with their feet and take their business elsewhere.

  3. We more than appreciate your support for including this article on your site. From HATZ and all the other concessions in Allders a huge thank you.

    Margaret Chatelier, HATZ

  4. Arfur Towcrate says:

    It would be helpful to let us know the names of the concessions.

    And as a regular customer of Coughlans, I hope they can either stay on or find new premises – I get through about 3 of their multiseed loaves a week.

    • Let’s just say that some of the concessions have been a little coy about coming forward. Which is why we are hoping that all the concessions use some form of simple signs to identify themselves to shoppers this weekend and beyond.

      There is a brief, and incomplete, list of some of the remaining concessions in the report above.

      And for more background into the decline and fall of Allders, make sure that you read this:

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