I have taken some photos of some of Soho’s shops largely because Soho – like so many other areas is subject to change and many new buildings are going up. They are not, of course, skyscrapers – but the new nature of the buildings – often with residential on the higher floors – means that any new retail units are set to be expensive. This means that the traditional Soho shop (I am not talking about sex shops!) is finding life increasingly difficult. The chains are perhaps able to afford the new retail units – but if Soho ends up as just chains it will loose much of its character.
Recently there has also been concern about the market in Berwick Street. (I have not photographed the market but have a number of photos of Berwick Street shops). Westminster Council are considering “privatising” the running of the market and many of the traders are concerned that this may lead to its demise – see the Guardian.
It is possible, of course that with the slowdown in the commercial property market that appears to be now underway that the pace of change in Soho will slow down and thus help to preserve its present character.