I’m really starting to feel decidely unoptomistic about having a shop again. Barring some sort of financial miracle it seems like I won’t be able to have a shop in or even around Brick Lane. I went round again to East London today to have a look at the area around Spitalfields Market to check where was busy and where wasn’t and scope out letting agents and empty properties. But my hopes were crushed by Propery Man and his mighty belly. Maybe you remember the falling apart porn shop which I really wanted… I couldn’t find any information about it, but up the street a little bit there was this pretty similar burnt out shell being held together by scaffolding and it costs £650,000. Admittedly you could probably still get a lot of money out of it if you had about a million to put in, so if anyone reading this has won the lottery then please tell me and we can buy this thing together and you could keep all the profits so long as I didn’t starve to death.

Naturally, I hadn’t really thought about buying a property since I don’t think I’d be able to get much starting capital together, so the freehold buying property prices didn’t deter me that much. I thought that if a shop costs about £300,000 or so to buy then the rent shouldn’t be more than about 8% or so of that value per year… so about £25,000 plus whatever the heating/aircon, council tax, electricity etc would be… call it £30,000 a year. I’d be ok with that. If I sold about 3kg of chocolate a day (30 people buying 10 chocolates each) it would cover that plus one other person on staff and then enough left over for me to live off, then anything I made on the cafe would probably offset therepayments on the loan I’d have to take to refurbish the place and give me a little left over to reinvest.

All sounds pretty damn good doesn’t it. Just next to the porn shop is this really quite oddly shaped shop whose main selling points seem to be that you can lower its steel shutters to protect yourself from looters and that it has a basement all set up ready to shoot low budget dirty movies. The rent on it is £20,000 and the council rates are a bit more than £3,000, awesome!! I just hadn’t counted on the Iron Wang of Business Premium Buttrape Boy. To have the priviledge of renting this charming property you have to pay £75,000. For some reason most commercial properties, instead of asking for a few months rent in advance as a deposit like anyone normal say things like “Premium is required in the region of £75,000 for the Leasehold Interest”. What?

I think I might stop shopping in shops just because I know how much of the cost of whatever it is I’m buying goes into just keeping the shop open and nothing else. Just looking at the prices of all these properties makes me feel slightly ill. Just imagine what the rents must be on properties that don’t look like bombed out wrecks or porno sets, even if I moved into one of the crappy £30,000 a year shops I’d still probably have to charge £5/100g to live. At the moment I’m making a small profit selling them at £2/100g or less. If shops suddenly didn’t exist and we had to do everything through the internet/markets or whatever everything could be half the price… or the economy might collapse since suddenly when all the useless retail sector jobs disappear and we’d all have to eat each other. Either way, it’s all good.

Starting today… I’m boycotting shops! Maybe my boycott will even reduce commercial property price (yeah I shop that much), then I’ll move in on the barren landscape like a parasite mWAwAhaHaHAhaHahA… or maybe not.