Local stores hope the Christmas trade will help boost sales

Most businesses rely heavily on Christmas trade to boost their income, but the pandemic has meant that this season, sales are especially important. 

Keeping afloat during this difficult time has seen many businesses fold, but three that have managed to survive look forward to repaying customer loyalty with an impressive array of Christmas gifts.


One such business in Brixton’s busy Coldharbour Lane, Diverse, is especially hoping to recoup losses incurred during the last year and a half. 

GIFTS: Diverse is located in Brixton.

Owner Anita Thorpe said “We’ve had to close three times during the pandemic, it’s had a big impact on sales.”  

Following the horrific murder of George Floyd which sparked the implementation of Black Pound Day, Thorpe said: “Peoples’ eyes opened up to Black-owned businesses and that momentum has continued.” 

Diverse’s best selling items are the locally handmade cards which depict community, inclusive images. As well as cards, Diverse sells a huge array of clothing, homeware and gifts.

Diverse can be found at: 390 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8LF, tel: 020 7733 1488 or email: [email protected]


East Sheen’s local Danish gift shop Butikken has seen a rise in popularity over the last 8 years of being open partly in thanks to the surge in popularity of Scandi-noir drama. 

People like the simplicity of north European clean cut lines on their furniture and smaller items for the home.

Although we are all used to mass market Ikea-esque items, Butikken offers a classier take on what we thought we all knew about Scandinavian homeware and it won’t break the bank either.

Owner Helle Makoni said “We managed to survive the pandemic. 

“Although we had to close three times we carried on having a click and collect service and when we reopened we had lots of customers coming back ready to spend.” 

Butikken is open for homeware, gifts and sells a wide range of Christmas decorations. Get yours whilst stocks last. 

Butikken can be found at: 200 Upper Richmond Road West, East Sheen, London SW14 8AN.

Eel Pie records

If music is your thing then Eel Pie Records is a must visit shop.

Kevin Jones, co-owner of Eel Pie Records managed to survive the pandemic by increasing the store’s online offering from 50 items to over 5000, although that number has now increased to 12,000. 

Jones got on his bike and delivered items to local customers.

RECORDS: Eel Pie Records is just a stone’s throw away from the river

His commitment to keep the business going has been repaid by customer loyalty with an increased footfall to the store once the pandemic allowed shops to open. 

Along with Goat Girl’s ‘On All Fours’ being the biggest seller, Eel Pie Records also stocks turntables, speakers and an impressive array of new and second hand vinyl as well as accessories and music books. 

If you’re unsure what your nearest and dearest would like in their Christmas stocking, fear not, you can also purchase gift vouchers to spend in the store. 

Jones said: “Customers like the experience and ambience of being in a physical shop.” 

Eel Pie Records can be found at: 44-45 Church Street, Twickenham TW1 3NR

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