Anything Left Handed Shop History
The original left-handed shop opened in 1968 at 65 Beak Street, at the bottom of Carnaby Street, Soho, in London’s West End. In addition to the shop, the premises were used for sending out catalogues and mail order parcels as well as being a general meeting place for local left-handers.
The owners would pack parcels when there were quiet moments during the day then close the shop for a few minutes each afternoon to walk round to the local post office to have them delivered.
In 1990 the landlord advised us that the whole building was going to be redeveloped and that our lease would not be renewed. We had to find new premises and after we moved out the building was left empty for years and never was redeveloped. Our old premises were eventually re-let as a shop with exactly the same layout as ours!
We moved to a brand new shop about 200 yards away at 57 Brewer
Street in 1991. This was just a refurbished shell so we had to completely fit it out ourselves. We liked the old black and white colour scheme from
Beak Street so we painted the new shop in the same colours.
When our original 15 year lease came to an end the landlords wanted to increase our rent by around 60%. The shop had actually been running at a loss for years, supported by our mail order and, increasingly, online business. We could not find alternative London premises at a viable cost so we reluctantly had to make a decision to close the shop and move to warehouse premises outside London to focus on our online business. The Brewer Street shop closed in May 2006 and we no longer have any shop premises, with all sales now being through this web site.
On a positive note, that has allowed us to reach a much wider audience and provide products, advice and entertainment to left-handers all around the world!