The menswear indie has grown into a destination store thanks to its 1980s mod and football heritage
Stuarts London has been supplying west London’s menswear shoppers since 1967. Although it has gone through several incarnations - from a value-led basics business to a more formalwear offer - it is now firmly entrenched in its niche of selling to fans of the 1980s casuals scene and terrace fashions.
Riding high on the resurgence of 1980s sportswear and helped by a smattering of more mainstream young fashion brands, Stuarts London has re-established itself as a one-stop shop for brand-hungry 30-something males. The 1,500sq ft shop is situated in Uxbridge Road, not far from Queen’s Park Rangers Football Club. Stuarts London’s owner Ravi Grewal, who bought the store in the 1980s, says some of the players who grew up locally have remained loyal to the business.
The store is merchandised according to brand, which Grewal says makes more sense for his customer. The interior is basic, with wood and metal counters and unfussy spotlighting. There are also several accessories counters, with Timex 80 watches, Anderson’s belts, Calvin Klein underwear, and toiletries.
The “casuals” wall sells the likes of Fila Vintage and Sergio Tacchini, while the “mod” wall features brands such as Baracuta. Only two sizes of each style are put on the shop floor, with the
500sq ft stock room holding the rest. Other labels include Levi’s, Original Penguin, footwear brand Red Wing and Pretty Green, the new label from Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher.
“We used to merchandise more around product category but we split it into brand sections, almost like little shop-in-shops, because the brands were getting hidden and we needed to make it as easy as possible for customers to find what they wanted,” says Grewal. “We also rearrange the displays every month to help shoppers feel that there’s something new about the store.”
Grewal says customers fall into two main categories: “There’s the older 35-plus mod customer and football terrace shopper, but we also have the more general fashion customer,” he says.
The store interior plays on the heritage of the shop, with a newspaper article from the Daily Star in 1983 that praises the shop displayed above the main payment counter, and football shirts signed by players hang in the store’s changing rooms.
Thanks to a recently launched website, the store is also now attracting attention from further afield.
Grewal says: “We’ve had people who used to come to the store years ago rediscovering it via the website.”
Year the store opened
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Age range of target customer
- Stuarts London 35-37 Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12