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Friday, 29 March 2019 08:28

High Street offers new trading opportunities

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Tracie Murchison (left) and Petra Patrick believe the Pink Shop offers creative businesses a valuable High Street outlet Tracie Murchison (left) and Petra Patrick believe the Pink Shop offers creative businesses a valuable High Street outlet
Injecting fresh life into High Barnet’s distressed High Street is a challenge for retailers, but two women entrepreneurs believe that their offer of a frequently-changing range of craft goods and products is proving popular.

Tracie Murchison and Petra Patrick opened the Pink Shop in a former café at the High Street entrance to Brake Shear House, and in the six months they have been trading over 60 small creative businesses have rented tables to sell their merchandise.

Most displays change every two weeks, so a fresh range of products is regularly on offer and their pitch is that shoppers should call in to see who is “popping up in the Pink Shop”.

The Brake Shear complex of workshops and buildings, including the Pink Shop’s premises, are earmarked for demolition to make way for two blocks of flats but the redevelopment by Shanly Homes is currently on hold and several businesses and traders have taken short-term leases of vacant workshops and properties.

The challenge facing Barnet High Street is highlighted by a recent run of shop closures. Quality Jewellers, close to the Pink Shop, is the latest to close its doors but other recently-vacated premises nearby include Reni’s café and Shake-Fastic smoothies, and further along the High Street, Clarks’ shoe shop and the Londis convenience store.

Quality Jewellers and Shake-Fastic smoothies are two of the latest casualties in a recent run of shop closures in Barnet High StreetQuality Jewellers and Shake-Fastic smoothies are two of the latest casualties in a recent run of shop closures in Barnet High StreetMs Patrick said she and her partner believed that a shop offering a frequently-changing array of goods and products – including jewellery, pottery, soaps, clothing, vintage and reclaimed items and interior design – was a concept that was innovative and attractive to artists and creative businesses.

“At any one time there are an average of eight or nine different traders and businesses renting our display tables and we aim to change them every two weeks, so there is a constant turnover of products on offer.

“We can offer small business, artists and craft makers a High Street presence rather than having to opt for fairs and markets which can be highly unreliable.

“Our aim is to be highly flexible in what we offer, so in late April – from April 23-25 – the Pink Shop will be hosting a pop-up fashion event for Little Beans which will be displaying a range of luxury clothing brands and a range of children’s clothes and shoes.”

Ms Murchison said they were delighted to have given a new lease of life to their High Street shop which is an attractive bow-fronted property dating back to the early 1900s and which most recently was a café but prior to that a launderette.

The two entrepreneurs, both individual craftswomen, are no strangers to the concept of pop up shops in High Barnet. They were among the original backers of Room 89 and Love Barnet’s pop-up shop.

Ms Patrick has developed a range of hand-made beaded and gemstone jewellery and Ms Murchison creates one-off art works and decorative items.

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