How to make an empty shop appealing

This is such a beautiful shop.

It’s criminal that it has been allowed to be left in this state. No shop in ANY high street should be left like this.

This is NOT acceptable.


But what if empty shops were treated like this?

Empty Shop After

But what if estate agents used the building like a billboard:

“I could be an Old Fashioned Sweet Shop, or a Deli, or I could sell Eco Products, how about a Gift Shop?. Use your imagination. I’m next to a cinema, imagine what they might want to buy. Dvd’s?”

The door has two little holes from where you can get a sneaky preview of the shop before calling the estate agent.

This wouldn’t cost much to do either.

Have a look at our other blog:
or the people behind this project;

14 Responses to “How to make an empty shop appealing”

  1. 1 john November 19, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    What a great idea. They should ban estate agents from putting up those horrible boards that they never take down and do something like this instead.

    I’m surprised no-one has thought of ding this. Why aren’t estate agents catching onto this?

  2. 2 sam November 19, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    This is clever.

  3. 3 Dasent November 22, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I no longer live in Ilfracombe but I was the litter warden and nobody loves the town more than I. Mate this a fantastic idea you should run for council.

    • 4 Ariana November 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Mike, thanks for your comment, I’m flattered. I did contact the council about this and received 0 replies from any of them. The Mayor did write a response in the Journal which said they had got 7k to spend on a scheme they had come up with which was to put pictures of local beautiful spots in shop windows with the new logo. HE ended the comment with ‘thank you for your interest in OUR town, which I took to mean ‘thank, but get lost’.

      Mayor Edmunds also about 1 months after I had written contacted me saying he liked the makeover of his old shop (he no longer owns it, but hasn’t bothered to remove his name from the sign) and wondered if I wanted to buy it!

      It seems as if they just don’t get it. The misplaced logic of the logo/branding which is a complete waste of 40 grand is breathtaking.

      This site has had about 1000 hits since it started 1 month ago I will add more to it as I go. Your comments and thoughts are all welcome.

      The more you talk about it the more chance someone will listen. At the moment the decision makers don’t want to know.


      Lee & Ariana

  4. 5 all the precious things February 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Wow, how exicting! It’s the first time I’ve ever seen Ilfracombe looking so colourful!

    I agree about decision makers being so crap around here. I used to work for Devon County Council, so only too aware how slow and set in their ways people can be.

    I’ve recently had an idea (more of a dream) to turn one of the empty shops into a arts and crafts workshop space. With facilities for anyone from kids to adults to come be creative and make, print, stitch, paint stuff…

    I’ve just been looking into funding, and trying to speak to somone in Ilfracombe who could advise, or help, or something, and i’ve been sent round in circles with no ethusiam from anyone. 😦

    That’s what ilfracombe needs, a bit of ethusiam to change things…. rather than loads of money given to people in governement / voluntary organisations, who seem to do nothing proactive with it. Aghh. Rant over.

    After seeing your blog, i’m a bit inspired. I’ve got my eye on the old job centre … so watch that space! 🙂

  5. 6 Sarah February 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Wow, this is the most colourful I have even seen Ilfracombe!

    I agree that decision makers are a real problem, I worked in Devon County Council long enough to realise everything takes forever change, as certain people / organisations are so set in their ways. They seem happy to chuck loads of money and people at problems, with nothing ever coming of it.

    I have a idea (more like a dream) to turn one of the empty shops into a community arts and crafts workshop space, where anyone from kids to adults, can come and be creative, and paint, print, stitch and make stuff.

    I’ve been looking into funding, and have been trying to get advice from the local council, and maybe a bit of advice … but have yet been met with any entusiam! Which kinda dampens mine… 😦

    However your blog has just inspired me. I have my eye on the old job centre … so watch this space!

  6. 7 leenewham February 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks Sarah,

    hopefully we can keep shipping away and eventually we will get somewhere! Feel free to tell people about the blog and if you have any images you want to send us for a what if or if you want us to look at your idea for the job centre. Good luck. Ilfracombe needs more people who “give a sh*t”.


    Lee & Ariana

  7. 8 all the precious things February 22, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Have you seen this? it’s all about using empty shops as temporary spaces. Great idea for keeping shops full, interesting and alot more sellable than if they were empty!


  8. 9 Ariana February 23, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Thanks again Sarah, I knew of a few schemes that have come to light on the BBC website recently and some local authorities have actually put some money behind them.

    The links look interesting. We will investigate…

  9. 10 December 10, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks for finally writing about >How to make an empty shop appealing What
    if Ilfracombe <Loved it!

  10. 11 Golf Clubs January 9, 2013 at 10:34 am

    This website definitely has all of the info I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  11. 12 mozilla firefox February 7, 2013 at 1:18 am

    I feel your angst. I never had any good luck with this stuff, either.
    So happy to find out I am not by myself!

  12. 13 identidad corporativa May 6, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Sinceramente, me ha sorprendido y entusiasmado en el mismo grado

  13. 14 breathtaking images June 2, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing this great write-up! I could put this to use on my new shop!

Leave a Reply to all the precious things Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: