I think Shop is my favourite shop in London. Mostly because it reminds me of my grandmother’s house… full of bright aprons, and crocheted teatowels, and beautiful vintage dresses, and buttons and scarves and rugs. And piles and piles of fabrics from the thirties and eighties and every era in between.
The staff are always friendly and there is no sense of the piss being taken in terms of pricing. When I was in one time a girl basically upended a chest full of buttons all over the floor (accidentally), and the owner just came over and said don’t worry, I’ll sort it out. How often do you see that in London?
They’ll even let you take stuff outside to check the colour (that wasn’t me, it was my sister, she’s a canny shopper). It’s very cramped, but somehow the grandma’s house atmosphere permeates the very mood of customers, so everyone behaves themselves and moves out of the way for each other. None of that primal scrabbling you get on the high street, all very pleasant. The owner encourages you to open up drawers and pull out more fabric (again, that was my sister), and then just quietly cleans up afterwards. And this patient approach actually works. We ended up dropping a good eighty quid between us, god knows how.
If only more shops would display this very simple, old-fashioned customer service.
The Shop, 3 Cheshire Street, London E26ED. Tel 020 7739 5631
Open: Wed-Sat 11-6pm & Sunday 9.30 – 5pm