Partridges is closing in Clapham Junction: the end of an era !

2 mins read
Partridges Stationers - Credit: CJI

The well-known local stationery shop in Clapham Junction is set to close definitively on Friday 14 July.

Certain things should not be allowed to close” is sometime seen as a metaphor used by politicians and writers. This quote resonates deeply with the announcement of Partridges‘ closure, a beloved stationers’ shop that has been an integral part of the Clapham Junction community for the past six decades. Having faithfully served customers with a diverse range of stationery, craft, and art supplies over the years, this iconic establishment will permanently lower its shutters on Friday 14 July.

Partridges’ poster of closure – Credit: CJI

Partridges was founded by Mr. and Mrs. Partridges in the 1960s as a stationery shop. Over the years, it has become an invaluable resource, offering a diverse range of school supplies including pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, and an extensive selection of files.

Furthermore, it has catered to the artistic community, offering an impressive assortment of paint, acrylics, mediums, brushes, special felt-tip pens, professional markers, as well as papers, sketchbooks, canvases of various sizes, frames, and a plethora of other associated items. The store also boasted a comprehensive collection of crafting and decoration supplies, including sprays, wool, stickers, and much more.

Inside Partridges Stationers – Credit: CJI

The premises always buzzed with activity as children accompanied by their parents flocked to the shop on weekends, eager to find the necessary materials for their activities. Professional artists, too, frequented the store, their faces lighting up with delight as they promptly located the precise color, paint, or brush they required for their artistic pursuits.

Inside Partridges Stationers – Credit: CJI

The shop’s significance in the area is evident when reading the review on the Internet:

Most of the reviews on Google also share the same enthusiasm on the facility:

Unfortunately, the combination of rising expenses and the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic proved to be detrimental to the business. One of the significant financial burdens faced by Partridges was the annual rent payment of approximately £55,000, as they did not own the premises. Additionally, they had to bear the cost of business rates amounting to around £25,000. They also attribute part of their struggles to the increasing popularity of online shopping, which has been further accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alternatives to Partridges

Undoubtedly, finding specific items like fine artist brushes and glue in a single location may prove more challenging in the future. One may have to visit different shops for various requirements.

Basic stationary supply

For simple essentials like notebooks, pens, pencils, and basic felt-tip pens, Asda, located just opposite Partridges, conveniently offers a small stationary aisle.

Furniture for schools and offices

Rymans in St Johns Road offers a good selection of pens, notebooks, files, and other office materials. However, it’s worth noting that their range is somewhat limited, focusing primarily on the best-selling items.

Art material

The nearest alternative for art supplies can be found at Lavender Hill Colours, situated within the Battersea Business Centre, towards Wandsworth Road (Unit 147, 99-109 Battersea Business Centre, Lavender Hill).

Inside Lavender Hill Colours – Credit: Instagram photos and videos

Originally established to cater to the painting and drawing needs of London Fine Art Studios students, this shop offers a wide range of products, including plaster casts, Mabef easels, pochade boxes, and even offers bespoke canvas stretching services. It is also the exclusive UK stockist of Alla Prima II by Richard Schmid.

Lavender Hill Colours also provides art courses for all levels, and more information can be found on their website.

Lavender Hill Colours art courses – Credit: Instagram photos and videos

Partridges’ sister shop

And further away, if you are still looking for a Partridges lookalike, you will be able to go to Tooting Broadway where you will find their sister shop called K & K Stationers & Printers, 94 Mitcham Rd, London SW17 9NG (more on Facebook).

In the meantime, you have still a bit less than 3 more days until the definite closure of Partridges in Clapham Junction!

Update 13/07/2023: Initial quote corrected as this was wrongly attributed to the book Veronika decides to die from Paul Coelho.

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CJI editor and Clapham Junction Action Group co-founder and coordinator since 2008, Cyril has lived in Clapham Junction since 2001.
He is also funder and CEO of Habilis-Digital Ltd, a digital agency creating and managing websites and Internet solutions.