Best Newcomer 2012 - Gently Elephant

Gently Elephant, the Brockley Road children's shoe and gift shop, has won the Brockley Central 'Best Newcomer 2012 Award' for local businesses. The team collected 39% of the public vote in a field that was at least as competitive as any in the Award's history.

The first retailer in the area to focus on the young-family market, Gently Elephant has also dramatically improved the appearance of the stretch of high street near Brockley Station. By marrying friendly customer service with a high-quality range and store environment, they have created one of the few shops in Brockley that attracts shoppers from further afield, earning a recent recommendation in Time Out's Babies and Children round-up.

Together with nearby electronics retailer Cash Tech, they have ensured that considerably more of BC's discretionary spending stayed local this year, saving us a lot of hassle in the process.

Gently Elephant's Helen Sheward says:

We are delighted to have been named newcomer of the year from a truly magnificent selection of new businesses. Every single one in our view has added a new dimension to our lives as residents and each has been whole-heartedly supported by a very loyal community. It's been an amazing year for us and we've got some exciting plans for the year to come. Thank you to everyone who voted for us and of course to our customers who have made it all possible.

Congratulations to Gently Elephant and to The Gantry and Pistachios in the Park, who came second and third respectively.

Best Newcomer 2011 - Brockley Market
Best Newcomer 2010 - El's Kitchen
Best Newcomer 2009 - The Orchard

24 comments:

Jack Chaplin said...

I love looking in the windows of Gently Elephant - but my mum used to always suggest a pair of shoes from it.

Anonymous said...

A very worthy winner, although they only have a small selection of things as it's a small shop they are really well chosen so I managed to find some lovely things in there for christmas presents. Friendly & helpful service too. A welcome addition to Brockley!

Anonymous said...

Ditto, well done gently elephant. It's got an amazing range and there's always something new every time I go! Dangerous..

Inevitable said...

I'm looking forward to the demographics of Brockley changing over the next 15 years as these kids grow up. Then the newcomer of the year will probably be one of those bong shops that sell trippy posters and tie-dye stuff.

Anonymous said...

I am starting to wonder what's in Brockley for grownups who aren't breeders.

Spot the twat said...

several possibilities.. The last person is trying to be satirical, he actually believes that or he's (it'll be a he) an idiot.

Brockley Nick said...

Of the 10 new businesses on the list, one is aimed at kids.

Dictionary definition said...

Breeders?

• informal derogatory (among homosexuals) a heterosexual person.

Anonymous said...

Another reason it's a great addition to the high street - no paranoid / horrid roller shutter.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with roller shutters. What do you want to do when the shop's shut; tweely peer inside?

Brockley Nick said...

Roller shutters (unless they're the perforated kind) are against Council regulations, because they damage the character of the high street.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it.

Has window shopping become a class issue now?

Lockup shutters are ugly.

Ostentatious Badger Trophy said...

Year four of the coveted award and still no diamanté encrusted golden badger trophy? Please see to it.

Brockley Nick said...

Like this one on the right?
http://bit.ly/VL429r

Anonymous said...

Lockup shutters are functional. It's nice to be able to go to sleep at night knowing your shop isn't being broken into. I don't know any real person that minds them. Some of my friends even have sky dishes on their conservation zone houses - won't somebody please think of the children?!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you would like lockup shutters on the front of your house for that extra secure feeling.

If you cannot appreciate their ugliness and fear of crime that they represent, then you would be better living in some sort of bunker.

Troll hunter said...

"I don't know any real person that minds them" everyone chew ver that phrase. It means nothing and tells you nothing. It's vacuous, as is the commentator.

The shop owners, who have sunk their money in it are presumably "real" they chose not to have one.

Anonymous said...

Insurance companies offer discounted premiums if there are roller shutters, or sometimes even require them before offering cover.

Westsider said...

Crap insurance companies maybe. Anyway, it's irrelevant. They are banned on this stretch. Those who have them are breaking Council planning laws.

Anonymous said...

It's not irrelevant, it's a mitigation of risk.

I bet you're the sort of person who writes love letters to Lewisham Council reporting your neighbours' Sky dishes.

Westsider said...

No, you don't get it. Let's say being able to install land mines outside was a mitigation of risk, it would be against the law to do so. It is against planning regs to install shutters (unless they are the ones with the holes in, like they have at The Orchard). So it is irrelevant whether you think they mitigate risk. Note that the places that haven't got them have not suffered any break ins.

Peering out over upper brockley road with a notepad and pen said...

Ah yes, regulations first; logic second. You're definitely a local nimby.

Westsider said...

No, you still don't get it. I'll try again, one more time.

It doesn't matter whether it's cheaper for the individual business (which I doubt anyway). The regulations are there to prevent one business damaging the others.

I'll give you another example, which might help you understand. It would be cheaper for shop A to throw its rubbish out the front door, rather than pay for rubbish collections. But having rubbish all over the street puts off customers for shop A and shops B, C, D and E. Maybe shopkeeper A is too thick, lazy or antisocial to grasp that. Or maybe the individual cost of rubbish collection is more than the cost of lost trade to that one shop. Either way, the Council regulations protect all the businesses on that street from the actions of shop A. That is perfectly logical - and that is what regulations are for. And it's irrelevant whether shop A likes it or not.

Your prejudices are mildly amusing (in case you couldn't guess from my name, I don't live in the conservation area) but eventually, your crushing bigotry becomes very tiring and makes you look like a fool. And it drags down the conversation to your moronic level. What started as a thread about what this shop is doing right turned into an irrelevant debate with a moron. Shame.

Anyway, I'm off out. Enjoy Alan Carr!

Simon and Olivia @geddes said...

As local traders we would like to weigh in on this thread re roller shutters.
We own two salons with large glass frontages. About eight years ago, our Wandsworth salon had a glass door panel smashed and we recently had a side window broken at the same site during a burglary. The excess on our insurance is £750 and our repair bill for the latter came to £325. Having traded in Wandsworth for almost twenty years we consider ourselves to be fortunate to have only had our windows broken on a couple of occasions. Yes we have found ourselves out of pocket but the positives of having an inviting shop front far outweigh the negatives of having unsightly roller shutters. Our Ladywell salon has been in operation for almost five years and we have yet to have our windows broken. Again, we would far rather take our chances than have our shop front looking unsightly. I think it's important to try to make the parade look attractive even outside the hours of business as it can help to encourage people passing through to come back during opening times to spend their money. If a parade looks shabby and run down people are less likely to make the journey to shop.

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