East Shopping Centre is a new development integrated in the heart of Green Street, built on the former site of a bus depot. It will provide a unique shopping experience for both the thriving local community and the ever-expanding Asian market.
Since the soft launch a few weeks ago, I thought it was time to visit this very much talked about new shopping mall.
I must admit it was more about ‘curiosity killed the cat’ rather than going on a massive shopping spree! So, with my ‘mystery expert shoppers’ (my sisters) we headed towards the famous Green Street in E7.
From Barnet via Hackney we landed in Green Street around 2:40pm. For a Friday afternoon, Green Street as a whole was pretty quiet. We parked up in the usual carpark and went straight for the Kill.
The East Shopping Centre (ESC) stood grandly where for many decades that area was a dull, neglected and boarded up – a sight for sore eyes. Now, for shoppers there was a luxurious entrance to a haven of high ranged shops.
Inside, there was a strip of shops, different from what we have seen on Green Street but were they different enough to lure the shoppers in?
What appealed to me about these shops was the fact that many of the products were from Pakistan fashion designers – and immediately you can see the quality was exceptional – a breath of fresh air.
The best thing about ESC is that it is indoors, clean and well presented – exactly how their web page describes it. Most of the shops have been acquired and many are up and running from Bridal wear to the higher range of Asian fashion. There is a food court on ground floor and 1st floor that is partly up and running but it’s a ‘Work in progress.’
They have a cash point, Disable toilets on the ground floor and a lift which I think is imperative as I can see many elders accompanying ‘the bride to be’ would need those facilities. We took our mum along and she was quiet happy to sit on a bench in the middle of the strip whilst we took a tour of the new shops.
At the end of ESC there is a ‘Bazaar’ section – where you can buy your everyday clothes at a bargain of a price, mainly children’s attire – the frilly dresses and suit ‘n’ tie for boys.
The downfall of the ESC is more of a personal opinion of what I expect as a shopper, someone who needs to be shown that one has gone the extra mile.
For instance, as we walk in to the ESC you are faced with shops on each side and can see almost to the other end but there were no clues to what shops are there. No list of what shops are in the centre or ‘Find a shop’. There was no one to meet or greet you or welcome you with a smile – not even a security guard.
The most annoying thing was the lacks of Customer Service – These shops are supposed to be different and of higher quality but try getting a smile out of the sales assistants or a greeting was non-existence. Only 3 shops welcomed us and spoke to us without making us feel as they were pouncing on us.
The worst was the fact that the presentation of some of the sales assistants was one of ‘fashion statement gone wrong’. If one is working in a retail shop that is of the standards of say ‘Karen Millen’ or ‘Dorothy Perkins’ then one should be dressed to that standard, day in day out. One should not be wearing ones ‘Kameez’ with a pair of snow boots.
Sadly, in some shops there was a distinguish smell that entailed a quick U turn! I apologise, but that’s my pet hate – BO.
Overall, a great concept and a space well utilised. Could it have been any different? Yes, I think it could have been. I would have liked to have seen a place where families could relax and enjoy some quality time – a play area or even a crèche facility that will allow the parents to shop with ease.
Would I go there again? Yes, just to window shop and to get a bargain if there was enough enticement. I would like to see the ‘old’ shops on Green Street to clean up their acts to support ESC and work hand in hand to bring back the ‘hustle and bustle’ that Green Street once had.
Ms Safirah Irani