I’ve bitched about the recent developments in Portobello Road before, and today I took a bit of a stroll around the area – I had the day off, as I was returning from a wedding in Sussex, and so I decided to make the most of it. Above you can see the most notorious recent development in Portobello Road, namely the All Saints store.
You know what really bugs me about this store, apart from its location, its size, the fact that it’s a chain store and the fact that its construction has been allowed? It’s the fact that not only have they had the gall to replace the old market stalls, but they’ve tried to make it whimsical and olde-worlde. The three shop fronts you see in that picture – the black one, the maroon one and the green one – are all the same store. And they’ve filled the windows with antique sewing machines (BECAUSE IT IS A CLOTHES SHOP YOU SEE).
I hate these chains that try to look like the independent shops they drive out of business. Starbucks with its cafe society decor, Burger King with its American diner theme. It sort of feels like rich folks slumming it for fun.
Having said that, if All Saints had built a garish and out-of-place regular shopfront, I’d be complaining about how they haven’t even tried to be in keeping with the area.
Screw All Saints, is what I’m trying to say here.