Many shops in London have been looted and some destroyed during two nights of rioting in the capital.
The worst damage was done on Saturday night when rioters in Tottenham, north London, burnt and pillaged shops on Tottenham High Road and the nearby Tottenham Hale Retail Park.
The disturbances spread that evening to Wood Green, the main shopping district in the borough, where many shops were broken into including Boots, JD Sports, Body Shop, Carphone Warehouse and O2. The Mall shopping centre was ransacked and shut all day yesterday, but will partially reopen at 10am this morning.
Last night, in disturbances in areas across the city, shops were targeted including HMV, which said damage in two if its stores has been “extensive”. Pearsons department store in Enfield and a Halfords and Currys in Brixton were also targeted but the disorder was on a much lesser scale.
Carpetright funder Lord Harris of Peckham told the Daily Telegraph that he will offer financial help to the people who lived above his shop in Tottenham.
He described the rioting as pointless and said: “It has damaged my business but big companies can withstand it. It’s the little entrepreneurs, people like greengrocers and clothes shops, who I really do feel sorry for. Who is going to shop there now? It’s going to take Tottenham a long time to get over it.”
An HMV spokesman said: “HMV can confirm that its stores in Wood Green (Shopping City) and Enfield (Church Street) were among the local businesses affected by the incidents that took place in North London over the weekend. The stores were both closed at the time and no members of staff were harmed.
“HMV has now secured both sites and is currently assessing the full extent of the damage to fixtures and fittings as well as the level of stock loss, which appears to be extensive.
“Whilst its on-site teams are working hard to normalise matters as quickly as possible, it is likely that it will take a number of days before the stores are in a position to re-open. In the meantime HMV trusts that customers will understand, and apologises for the inconvenience this may cause.”
British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said: “I deplore the violence and property damage inflicted by these criminal actions. I have the greatest sympathy for those who’ve lost businesses, staff whose jobs are now in jeopardy and customers now without local services.
“Retail is at the heart of thriving communities. Clearly, with high streets under pressure anyway, at least some of the businesses destroyed will not be able to re-establish themselves, causing long-term damage.
“And, at a time when some of London’s most deprived areas are looking forward to a substantial spending boost from visitors to next year’s Olympics, this sends an appalling message to would-be tourists around the world.”