What happened to Spruced Goose in Manchester?

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About to surf the net for holiday offers I get a message saying I have a broken link on Little Scandinavian.
Spruced Goose is apparently unavailable. But it’s not only the link that is dead. In fact there’s no sign at all of the Manchester based shop being still in business. What had happened to Spruced Goose?

The inspiration behind the children’s fashion boutique Spruced Goose was to offer children’s clothes for children not commonly available in the UK. With a belief that children should be dressed as children in clothes that are both fashionable and comfortable, allowing them to express their own personalities, the shop started sourcing unique and trendy, colourful, quirky and fun labels. In store you could find the Scandinavian children’s fashion brands Mini A Ture and Molo as well as European brands like Eliane et Lena, Mim-Pi, Mayoral, Scotch and Soda and Imps & Elfs. Catering for the newborn and up to tween and teen years Spruced Goose prided themselves offering personal customer service in their lovely shop.

Spruced Goose opened its doors first time on a Wednesday in August 2007. The Summer holiday, apparently one of the wettest summers since 1914, was moving towards an end and a new school year was about to start. One new shop owner, Petra Schiffer, with probably months of planning and organising behind her, was excitingly greeting new customers into a little delightful universe of European kidswear. Little did the shop owner know that the Great Recession was about to hit, only half a year later.

Petra got in touch with us in late 2009 and was one of the first stores to advertise on Little Scandinavian. Our last contact was in beginning of 2012, around the same time we ended our collaboration.

We knew Spruced Goose was struggling their way up on the kidswear scene, mostly uphill. Opening a online store, moving the brick and mortar shop to other premises, adding new brands, working around the clock…

On the 23rd of January the shop announces the arrival of a new brand in for Summer 2015 -with an amazing 30% off. A sale like that, with such a high discount upon arrival, announced openly on social media is not necessarily to award loyal customers nor to celebrate the arrival of a new collection in store. The sale was probably more a sign of the struggle this shop was facing and indeed one of the last attempts to save the children’s store. The very last sign from Spruced Goose is on the 25th of January, a cheerful ‘Good Morning’ and announcement of the stores opening times. Then it went silent.

On the 15th of March Spruced Goose confirms the store closure in February, in reply to a desperate customer, on their Facebook page, who was trying to find out what happened to their favourite store.

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Spruced Goose children’s shop, new premises back in 2012

As one in six shops across the UK lies empty, just what is the future for the British high street? Some would say communities and high streets are not being destroyed, they are merely changing with technology. But we can’t agree that a lack of local community and a loosing the tradition of being a nation of shop keepers are a positive development. And also, how can independent shops ever compete against online giants?

Another shop door closed, one step closer to death of the high street.

We have not managed get in touch with Petra or anyone from Spruced Goose for this article. If you have any updates or comments, please share below.

4 Comments

  1. So sad Bianca,

    I’ve just seen this and it confirms what a few agents have said to me, that there are quite a few independents closing down at the moment. I think its not just the internet, money is really tight for families out there and small UK retailers must try and establish online customers abroad as well as from the UK to keep going.

  2. This is a real shame as I really enjoyed shopping there. They had a great loyalty scheme and the staff were very friendly.
    Sorry to see this shop close. X

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