Mr Simms Olde Sweetie Shoppe in the shopping mall directly above Fulham Broadway tube station is proof that small really is beautiful and that you really can use stock as an integral element of a store’s design.


Mr Simms Olde Sweetie Shoppe is actually based in Eccleshall, Staffordshire and has a number of outlets, most of which trade on a distinctly rose-tinted nostalgia-led vision of what a confectionary store should look like. But this one is shoehorned into the corner of a very modern shopping centre.

And in case you were wondering, this shot has not been cropped – what you see is what you get – and it is definitely the most efficient use of space in the whole of the centre, with room, just about, for the sole member of staff sitting behind the till. After that, it’s jars of sweets, bonbons and candies all the way, all housed within the kind of jars that we all think were once familiar stuff in CTNs, but were in fact commonplace considerably before the lives of most readers actually began.

A success therefore, both in terms of getting the right offer into a small space, making a statement and using large screw-top jars to create a particular ambience. You don’t walk into this shop – it is little more than an expanded kiosk, yet it attracts far more attention from passers-by emerging from the tube station below than does its neighbour, Sainsbury’s.

The point perhaps about all of this is that used artfully and with a very straightforward shelving system, a small space can provide a far bigger shout than might otherwise be expected – you don’t have to be big or high, to be mighty.