Kensal Rise children’s shop wins independent retailers award

Kidsen in Chamberlayne Road scoops national accolade

The best children’s shop in the country can be now be found in the borough, after a national competition designed to honour independent retailers gave first prize to a Kensal Rise store.

Kidsen, in Chamberlayne Road, fended off 14,000 competitors from across the country to claim the title of Best Children’s Shop, in the annual Shop Awards, a competition organised by the Telegraph Magazine.

Owner of the shop, Corina Papadopoulou, was presented with a trophy by retail guru Mary Portas..

Ms Papadopolou said: “I think we offer something different, we are a big part of the community and I have developed such a good relationship with local families in the area.

“We offer something unique that you would not find in the mass market.”

Kidsen sells a variety of children’s products, including school shoes and clothes and was opened in 2008 as a joint venture between Ms Papadopoulou and her husband.

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In addition, all the toys and crafts sold are made by traditional methods due to a complete ban on plastic.

The competition set out to find the best Britain had to offer across a range of categories including best wine store and best women’s fashion store.

Mary Portas, who is currently conducting a review into the state of British high streets, described the winning stores as the “cream of the crop” in Britain.

However, despite her joy at claiming the award Ms Papadopoulou explained the difficulties faced for independent shops.

She said: “It is tough running your own business, the council don’t do much to support high streets and with parking so expensive it can be tough to survive.

“But local families have been great and really supportive; people come in who could easily go to department stores but want to buy it from our shop instead because we are local.”

In addition, there was further success for Brent as Iris, in Salusbury Road, Queen’s Park, claimed the runners up spot in the Women’s Fashion category.