By Nicci Rae
The pandemic has been tough on most of us in one way or another; not least for small business owners. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen the demise of a number of Harrow businesses – but also the emergence of some great new ones so, in this article, we’ll share our round up of our borough’s booming and bust businesses:
Gone but not forgotten
We do, of course, have to start with Harrow stalwart, Debenhams. For decades, shoppers flocked to this huge, town centre department store to buy perfume, clothing, homewares and more. Since 1902, Debenhams was a familiar sight on most UK high streets but, sadly, in May of 2021, the company went into administration and closed its 101 stores – a significant loss for shoppers across the country. Debenhams is, however, still trading online for dedicated fans.
Sourdough lovers initially flocked to this trendy pizza joint but, unfortunately, it’s success was short lived and, the site is now home to Taco Bell which has fast become a lunchtime favourite for Harrow’s hard workers.
Another sad loss resulting from the pandemic was this delightful bookstore and coffee shop in Pinner. The popular shop was named Independent Bookstore Of the Year in 2020 but, sadly, In March 2021, it was announced that the shop was unable to continue trading.
Ah, the solid weight and smell of a brand new Argos catalogue! Unfortunately, in 2021, Harrow’s branch of Argos closed for good, along with many others in the UK. However, the good news is that you can still get your Argos fix online.
A warm welcome to…………..
We’d all barely registered the loss of Harrow Debenhams when news came down the wire about a shiny new replacement in the form of a brand new department store. On November 4th 2021, The Landmark opened its doors to grateful shoppers. Similar to its predecessor, the new store offers a selection of items for the home as well as cosmetics and clothing. The store was officially opened by the Mayor of Harrow and has been going great guns since.
Opened in 2020, Nana’s Kitchen quickly became a firm favourite with lovers of Southern and Eastern European fayre. Serving healthy but delicious dishes, including soups, salads and more, Nana’s Kitchen is available for takeaway or to eat in at its restaurant on Headstone Drive.
Opened in 2020, Buzz Gym is located in the St Ann’s Shopping Centre and features state of the art exercise and fitness equipment. Trendy and modern, the gym has dedicated training zones and over 50 fitness classes every week.
Harrow hello and goodbye
The world of business can be a fickle one – and never more so than during a global pandemic which closed down entire high streets for months at a time. While we mourn the loss of some of our Harrow favourites, we’d also like to extend our congratulations to the newbies who are helping to keep our borough on the map.