Sunday, September 14, 2008

The death of Lillywhites

The last time we went to Lillywhites was more than a decade ago. Back then it used to be a specialist sports store, and a classy one at that. As we happened to be in the area yesterday (I tend to avoid Piccadilly Circus for various reasons), so I thought that we should just check the place out.

Imagine my surprise when I walked in to find a Sports Soccer shop instead. Actually, it should not be a surprise really as a burly bodyguard stood near the entrance - one of the most unwelcoming sights in any stores, and not to mention the number of '70% off!' posters outside. Stacks of discounted replica football shirts, tracksuits and trainers aimed at local and overseas chavs littered the place, with barely a hint of proper sporting equipments in sight. Nothing wrong with that if those are your thing, but we already have Sports Soccer shops (or whatever name they are using now) in every corner of Britain. We scurried out of the dung-hole almost instantly.

Returning home I quickly look it up online to find that the once fine London institution was sold off to Sports Direct a couple of years ago. Having experienced the dire quality of Sports Direct's own brands (like Karimor) and their stores (rude staff, lack of refund policy), at least I now know more about this scheming business empire and their multiple arms. A shame really, as I really do like Carlton racquets (but at least now I have an excuse to buy Yonex).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sad, really. I remember buying a cricket bat there 20 years ago and admiring whites that I could never afford. Things change i suppose.

I remember Simpson's and a bookshop on Picadilly that got bought as well.