Owner of the Purbani Indian Restaurant Saju Ali poses for a picture with his team Jakir Hussain, Imam Talukdar, Fardush Miah, Dulal Rahman, M.R. Beg Khukon, Kohlnoor and Mujibur Rahman outside his restaurant on Wanstead High Street August 14, 2021.

"The business was opened by my father in 1970. It’s been a family run business for many years and it’s still continuing now. The future of the High Street is very hard to predict. You’ve got a new generation coming in, the old generation moving out. We won’t know until we see the future."

Anna Orpwood, Equity Partner for Edwards Duthie Shamash Solicitors poses for a picture outside their business with colleagues, Rezwana Dithy, Solicitor, Saira Farook, Solicitor, Asya Erol, Solicitor and Akvile Guzaite, trainee solicitor on Wanstead High Street, London, October 7, 2021.    

"I think sadly, probably, some high streets in some areas are not going to be able to reinvent itself sadly. This is because of online shopping and things like that; but in an area like Wanstead people are quite passionate about the High Street, you go out there and it’s a very buzzy kind of High Street. So, I think this High Street will be okay."

Owner of Le Marmiton Bistro & Bar Christophe Trouard-Riolle stands outside his restaurant with his staff Sarah-Marie Maxwell, Maelice Jouan, Timothe Li, Kamil Goldowski and Alexandra Hannant on Wanstead High Street, London, July 23, 2021. Christophe opened the restaurant July 2018.  

"I think most suburban High Streets will be okay especially post pandemic. I still think there’s going to be a lot of working from home, it might not be full-time like it’s been for the last 18 months, but I think it’s still going to be part time. I think we’ve been lucky in the High Street here and all the other suburban High Streets that people haven’t been going into the city centres."

Owner of Zoology hair salon Mark Mountney poses with his staff Michelle Thomas, Lola Shorter, Zena Appleton, Daisy Alexander, Francisca Leon, Rebecca Adams, Jordan Cobby and Joe Quill outside his salon on Wanstead High Street, London, October 15, 2021.

"I think it’s the best the High Street has ever been so I think the future is looking really good. There are some fantastic businesses on the High Street. It’s become a real destination, as well serving the local community, people come here from far away so the future is looking great."

Manager of The Bull Henry Lawrence with staff, Alejandro Medina, Hugh Williams, Mirela Burla Roberts, Gloire Medina Mambote, Anne Bowker, Mihaela-Alexandra Gradinariu, Anna Agathangelou, Andy Arostegui and Joe Biggins in front of the pub on Wanstead High Street, London, October 25, 2021.    

Originally built early 18th century, the house was bought by the West Essex Conservative Association in 1925 as local headquarters. It was used by Britain’s war time leader Sir Winston Churchill who was MP for Epping and later Woodford.

Owner of Wanstead Barber Shop Flamur Hoxha poses for a picture with barber Elvis Dervishi outside his barber shop on Wanstead High Street, London, October 11, 2021.  

"I opened my business here in 2018, it was my dream since I was a kid. When I opened this business on the high street it was okay and picking up. But last two years because of the pandemic it was a bit hard for everybody, but I hope it’s going to be better in the future.'

Managing Director of Charles Crown Financial Carlos Gonzalez stands outside his business with his team Javier Mondejar, Razmik Sargsyan, Angela Lodge, Nikit Patel and Zain Raja on Wanstead High Street, in London April 21, 2022.  

“I think the future of the High Street is a bit difficult because nowadays most people are looking for financial services online so this is taking quite a lot from the high street”.

Owner of Wanstead Opticians, Greg Etkin stands outside his shop with colleagues Vicki Herbert and Karen Tuck on Wanstead High Street, London, July 20, 2021.

"I heard about this practice and that it had been around since World War II, very established and that the area was really lovely. It’s just a complete community in every sense of the word. I think the future of the High Street is very promising. Covid has changed the dynamics with everybody working from home now, whether it’s just three, four or five days a week, or some sort of a hybrid mix."

Owners of Keating Jewellers David and Elaine Keating pose for a picture with their daughter Verity and occasional assistant Ellen Carroll outside their shop on Wanstead High Street, London, August 31, 2021.

"I think the High Street will carry on because of the sense of community. People like to gather and socialise, even more so having experienced not being able to socialise in the last 12 months. We offer a personal service and we know most of the customers. So hopefully it will carry on for many years."

Owner of Daisy Florist’s, Daisy Osborne and her husband Mark pose for a picture outside their shop on Wanstead High Street, London, November 4, 2021.

"I hope the future will be that people shop in their local High Street. We need support from everyone locally in every High Street everywhere. And hopefully it will grow as people support, and carry on supporting, local businesses."

Anthony Waghorn, Funeral Director for Francis & C Walters Funeralcare poses for a picture outside his business on Wanstead High Street, London, November 6, 2021.  

"This business has been here for over 100 years and my family‘s involvement has been for over 80 years. I’m a fourth-generation funeral director. I think the future of the High Street is very good. It’s got all things for all sorts of different people. Lots of coffee shops to have people out and about during the day and restaurants for the evening, I think it’s good."

The owner of Wanstead Fish Kevin Murphy stands with staff, Georgie-Belle Horwood, Grace Miell and Paulius Cerniauskas outside his fish mongers on Wanstead High Street, London, July 10, 2021.     

"A lot more people are shopping on the High Street and we have reason to be more optimistic now. At one time it was being taken over by chains, but hopefully that has stopped and we will keep most of the independent shops that we’ve got. I’d like to think so anyway, we shall see."

Owner, Director and Head Pastry Chef of La Bakerie Fabien Ecuvillon poses for a picture outside his bakery with his staff Ibrahim Mohamed, Front of House (FOH) Member, Franck Turban, Head Chef, Cristina Fedunic, FOH Member, Althea Leon, Kitchen Assistant, Alejandro Ramos, FOH Member, Nam Thegim, FOH Member and Bipul Mondal, Kitchen Assistant on Wanstead High Street, London, September 2, 2021.

"I’d been waiting seven years to buy the business here. I love so much the High Street and it’s the place I want to run my business. I think the future of the High Street is getting better and better. I think the pandemic helped as well to achieve that because a lot of residents now shop locally compared to before. I think it does help for local people to shop locally."  

Owner of The Art Shop, Dill Puneet, who set up his business with his mum Jasvir Puneet, poses for a picture with his team Jane West, Jane Knight, Melanie Bernor and Sue Summers outside his shop on Wanstead High Street, London, November 4, 2021.    

"I still think there is a need for the High Street. People need that social activity which you don’t get online, so therefore at the moment, yes, a lot of businesses are suffering because of Covid, but there will be a revival. There will be new independents and a new horizon ahead."

Owner of Piccolo Ristorante Italiano, Julio Campoverde stands with his staff, Claudio Rossi, Alina Biliuta, Jhony Cuenca, Ricardo Saagum, Guillermo Pilantaxi, Marta Campoverde (his wife) and Ecaterina Frunza outside his restaurant on Wanstead High Street, London, July 9, 2021, three days prior to England v Italy Euro 2020 final.

"The reason opened my business here in 2013 is because I was working too long for other people and not being recognised for what I do. I decided to open my own business with my wife, a family business. I love to cook. Since COVID-19 it’s been a disaster for us. We work hard, but the rent goes up and up, the government doesn’t do anything. But I am positive thanks to all the people who support us. We are fighting."

The team of workers from Stow Brothers Estate Agents Ben Charlton, Senior Sales Advisor, Kyli Clayton, Assistant Manager, Amy Oliver, sales Advisor, Joe Earnshaw, Branch Manager, Lindsey Webb, Sales Progressor, Georgina Peak, Lettings Advisor, Victoria Kearney, Marketing Manager and Poppy Robinson-Doughty, Sales Advisor pose for a picture outside their office on Wanstead High Street in London, October 4, 2021.   

"I think post-pandemic local hubs have become more important for community. Less people are travelling into central London so I think the future is quite bright for local areas."

Owner of Elegance Dry Cleaners Saleh Hamayoon poses for a picture with co-workers Nazam Hussain and Muhammad Liaqat outside his business on Wanstead High Street, London, September 16, 2021.

"There are changes happening like some of the banks and big businesses are gone. But on the other-hand other big businesses are coming in. Small businesses are struggling but this is the situation were in at the moment with Covid. Apart from that, business and the future is good, it’s a very nice high street here."

Owner of Caesars Palace Cafe and Sandwich Bar Bayram Ali Acar, his daughter Elif Acar, son, Ahmet Acar, nephew, Mustafa Acar, Mustafa Doymus and Marguerite Wimborne, who they describe as the ‘manager’ as she is in the cafe every day, outside their café on Wanstead High Street, London, September 11, 2021.     

"I think it will be kept much the same on the High Street just because we don’t like change and maybe there won’t be much change around this High Street. Overall, it’s looking good. So, we’ll carry on, it will be good for the future."

Owner of Harveys greengrocers, Sinan Ereur stands with co-owner Salman Kortelli, Salman’s son and daughter Boran Kortelli and Berfin Kortelli and Yilmaz Aslan outside their shop on Wanstead High Street, London, June 26, 2021. 

"If local people support small businesses a little bit more it will be better than getting big companies in the High Street. It will be good for boutique shops with more socialising and more friendships. I think the High Street will be alright."  

Manager of The Ginger Pig butchers, Lajos Gulyas poses with his staff Harabagiu Nicolae, Ewelina Gbyl, VLasta Ivanovova and Keith Harrison outside their shop on Wanstead high Street, London, October 22, 2021.  

"I think in the High Street prices are going up because of the pandemic so business goes down a lot. Even so, I hope everything will be fine but it’s not easy."

Pharmacist and Owner of the chemists in Wanstead Pharmacy, Ali Mashadi stands with his brother Esmaeil who runs the Post Office in Wanstead Pharmacy outside their business on Wanstead High Street, London, July 2, 2021. Standing with them are Robert Mashadi, Ali’s son, Alex Mashadi, Ali’s wife and Aman Chhabra. The Chemists and Post Office were opened in 1990.  

"I think with the rise of Internet shopping there’s going to be less and less work for the pharmacies and the general retailing. Having said that, a lot of people seem to enjoy the experience of coming out into the High Street and doing some shopping and doing face-to-face purchases which hopefully will lead to new avenues and there will be a new retail section. But really, I think the future is what we make it."

Post Master, Esmaeil Mashadi stands with his brother and owner of the chemists in Wanstead Pharmacy, Ali Mashadi outside their joint business on Wanstead High Street, London, July 2, 2021. Standing with them are Robert Mashadi, Ali’s son, Alex Mashadi, Ali’s wife and Aman Chhabra. The Post Office and Chemists were opened in 1990.  

"I think eventually it’s going to go all down. My opinion is that most of the shops are going to be closed and there’s not much future for the High Street."

Owner of Images in Frames Elton Weale poses for a picture with Georgia Deacon Sales Consultant and Michele Redgrave, Gallery Manager at his gallery on Wanstead High Street, London, September 9, 2021.   

"I think with a lot of people working at home the High Street, Monday to Friday, is a lot busier. The weekend used to be very busy for us, like Saturday and Sunday, that’s toned down slightly, but Monday to Friday is significantly busier with people working from home, so I think the future of the High Street looks quite positive. I can see the High Street becoming a bit more social and I feel the best High Streets have more boutique stores and smaller businesses rather than bigger businesses."

Owner of Robins Pie & Mash shop Melanie Coulson poses for a picture with her staff Jon Sacro, Kelly Bromley and Leah Bromley outside her shop on Wanstead High Street, London, August 13, 2021.  

"The business was opened by my great grandfather in 1929 and this shop was opened 16 years ago. I think the High Street is progressing. it’s gone a bit upmarket at the moment but I think it’s doing okay."

Owner of Krishanco News Agents Jaginder (Jindy) Singh stands with his co-worker and mother Gurdeep Kaur, Chirag Singh and Amarjhot Kaur who help out in the store from time to time, on Wanstead High Street, London, August 15, 2021.

"The reason I opened my business in 2012 is because I wanted to work with the public. I think the future of the High Street, and not just this High Street, but most high streets, is that they will all eventually die out."

Owners of the 7 to Eleven store Darshana and Girish Ray pose for a picture outside their store on Wanstead High Street, London, September 1, 2021.

"To open this convenience store was my husband‘s dream and our family survive on that business. But now the bigger chain stores are taking over the High Street businesses so right now, we’re struggling as a small convenience store on the High Street. If the local public are not supporting the High Street businesses it might all close down."

Owner of Heads ’N’ Tails, Pets & General Supplies Masud Beg stands outside his shop with Susan Winch-Furness, who looks after his plants in the shop, on Wanstead High Street, London, July 27, 2021.

"I hope the High Street doesn’t end. I hope that it still carries on. I hope that the government will do something about the cost of rates as that would help small shops out massively."

Owner of Euronics Wanstead Domestic Appliances Jamil Sheikh poses for a picture with his son Nayyer Sheikh and repairman Malick Basheer Ahmed outside his store on Wanstead High Street, London, August 18, 2021.

"The major challenges to us, is from online stores, but we get business because of our services and presence. There are still customers out there who want to deal with people. We are getting business from the recommendations we have. If someone is happy, they send other people to us. I think the future of the High Street is bright."

Owner of shop, Tool Box, Imran Asghar stands with his father Ali Asghar and his brother Nasir Asghar in front of their shop on Wanstead High Street, London, August 25, 2021. Imran opened this store September 2015 after working in another store in Ilford for 15 years.

"I believe a lot of people think the high streets are going to die with online, but I think they will flourish. I think the Covid has actually taught us quite a bit about the High Street. it’s made us respect and appreciate what we’ve got on the High Street more. Just to go into shops speak to people, get customer service and actually just look at the product you’re buying. Online sales will take out a portion, but I don’t think High Street is ever going to die."

Owner of fashion shop Le Voyage Boutique, TJ poses for a picture outside her shop on Wanstead High Street, London, November 17, 2021.   

"I’ve always had an interest in fashion and always wanted to open my own boutique but I think I’ll probably have to take it all online just because it’s become so expensive since Covid.  I can’t keep up with all the rent, rates and high bills so eventually it will be online. I wouldn’t like to see all the shops close but I think there’s already too many coffee shops and food shops but if local businesses are not being supported by the locals how can they expect us to stay open."

Owner of Polished by Jo, Jo Dang stands with beautician Anne Bui outside their beauty salon on Wanstead High Street, London, September 29, 2021.

"I opened my business on the 1st of June 2021. I worked for my sister in the family business before, and I thought I’d start my own business. I’m not sure about the future of the high street, it might get better in a few years’ time. Maybe everybody needs to adapt and get used to all these (social distancing) rules first so things and people can get back to normal. Hopefully everything will be okay in the future."

Richard Chapman, Director of All Around Cleaning Company, who operates on Wanstead High Street, London, poses for a picture October 8, 2021.    

"I think the High Street is very prosperous, especially the small independents. I don’t think there is a massive place for the bigger companies within the High Street although they’ll always be an area for them. I do believe that it’s the small independents where the High Street will flourish because local people will always support local shops."

Street Cleaners (barrows) Terence Mulcare and Fred Jackson (machines) pose for a picture on Wanstead High Street, London, September 18, 2021.  

"Fred “At the moment there’s not much of a future for the High Street. A lot of shops are shutting, but there are plenty of cabs though. No-one’s got any money. There’s no money in the High Street, nowhere, I’ve got none.”

Terence “I’ve got none either. I think it’s all gone abroad. I think it’s going downhill myself. Recession is coming. The standard of living has gone down. No-one can earn anything these days. But there are plenty of cafés.”  

Joint manager of the Wanstead Park tea hut, Jenny Maestri and her daughters, Demi and Georgia pose for a picture with her mother Jean and dog Chrystal, in Wanstead, London July 21, 2021. Jean originally bought the business in 1982. The present hut, which echoes the Wanstead temple in design, replaced a wooden building in 1986.

“The business was set up about 38 years ago by my mum and dad. They owned the hut when it was still made of wood but kids used to set fire to until it was rebuilt in brick to match the Temple in design. Since I took it over the running of it, it’s just got busier and busier. Since the pandemic has hit people have turned more supporting local businesses which is nice to see.”