After more than a decade in West Ealing, popular bakery chain Wenzel’s has called time on its W13 branch following a rise in theft and staff being intimidated by antisocial behaviour.
The shop, which had been in West Ealing from the early 2010s, finally become unsustainable due to theft as well as a general decline in shoppers coming to the area.
For a brief period in 2013, Wenzel’s renamed its West Ealing branch as 99p Bakery but later reverted back to it’s original name.
Wenzel’s fans now only have four branches in the borough to buy their favourite sandwiches, snacks, breads and treats – Hanwell, Greenford, Northolt and Ealing Broadway.
Over recent years, all banks and building societies in West Ealing have closed down as well as as popular retailers including EE and Starbucks.
According to a member of staff, it became very difficult to work at the branch due to the amount of items stolen each day and very little help from authorities including police and Ealing Council to clamp down on it.
They told EALING.NEWS: “The area has been in such a decline over recent years and with people coming in and nicking stock, it really is getting out of hand. It doesn’t feel safe to run a shop in West Ealing.”
They added: “Nothing is being done to improve the area and it’s become a magnet for thieves coming into shops here in West Ealing and stealing goods.”
The feelings echo staff working in nearby retailers. One shop worker for another high street chain told EALING.NEWS: “It really is hard to make shops work here with the huge rise of theft and anti social behaviour going on. It’s not just recent, it’s been going on for a long time. People are very concerned about it. Many workers are frightened that if it continues like this, more shops will have to close down.”
Councillor Gary Malcolm, leader of Ealing Liberal Democrats told EALING.NEWS: “Liberal Democrats think that it is very sad that this part of Ealing is suffering from this type of antisocial behaviour. We think the council needs to be more proactive in working with the police and organisations to better promote our high streets whilst making sure that residents and businesses can be safe.”
Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Neil Reynolds, chair of Ealing Green Party said: “The decision of Wenzel’s to leave the area is worrying sign of decline. It is not clear what the plan is by the local council is to rejuvenate the area. The public spaces prevention order (PSPO) by itself is not enough. Social problems such as alcohol and drug addiction need addressing as well.”
Mr Reynolds added: “The pedestrianised Leeland Road market is a triumph, and good for the businesses on that road too. The council should make public spaces work for people and businesses on this stretch of busy road.”