The cave on Bermondsey Street closed down! Such a shame as it was a great shop and such a creative place to meet for a glass of wine. There are a couple of places closing down on the street (Al's Cafe, Vietnamese place) - how can we make sure that Bermondsey Street doesn't become a street full of estate agents and retains its independent stores and restaurants to attract visitors all year long?
Does anyone know what will replace those shops and restaurants?
Part of the problem for independent retailers is that it takes an average of 3 years to get established, rent reviews are usually every 5 years so just as you're getting on track, the rent is hiked making your business unsustainable or just yet more very hard work. A lot has happened on Bermondsey Street in that time - White Cube wasn't open 5 years ago, Zucca had only just opened, etc.
I'd assume most of the properties on Bermondsey Street are owned by individual landlords, the majority are going to take the highest rent achievable. I'd hate to see a Pret but they're probably a landlord's dream - high rent, paid on time.
Conversely, landlords often give these dream tenants incentives to move in - Sainsbury's on Bermondsey Square pays a paltry rent - around £23,000 a year, I think - because the developers wanted an anchor tenant. That's around the level (or even less) than some of the local independent businesses are struggling to pay for much smaller units. All rather depressing and inevitable.