Once it was a mecca for gadget hunters – England’s very own rival to the legendary Tokyo’ shopping area Akihabara.
Now though it appears that Tottenham Court Road is no longer a place to grab hi-fis and TVs as yet more electronics stores on the road pull the plug.
The latest to go is Shasonic, which is closing its three Tottenham Court Road stores in London – Shasonic Megastore, the Sony Galleria and the dedicated Samsung brand shop – this week.
Owner John Shah told industry website ERTonline, managing director of Shasonic, described it as, “a sad day”.
He said: “Next week will be the first week in 41 years that I’ll end up on Tottenham Court Road feeling empty – I’ve been associated with the street for so long. It’s the end of an era.”
Shah acknowledges too that although the main reasons for the closure is that the landlord has other plans for the stores the internet has effectively made trading in the area very difficult
‘Tottenham Court Road was all about choice, the knowledge of the staff and the competiveness of the street, which was what attracted people. With the internet, that has all gone and footfall has dropped dramatically.”
He added: “Tottenham Court Road has changed beyond all recognition. It used to be the Mecca for electronics – the Akihabara [Tokyo's electronics retailing district] of London. It will die – it’s pretty much dead now – the remaining operators are being edged out and I think the majority of them are desperate to get out. They’re all hanging in there because of the liability of their leases.”
Interestingly, one of the three stores that closing, the Sony Galleria, was Europe’s flagship Sony Centre, and has remained Europe’s highest-turnover Sony Centre.