With the recent spates of mass vandalism and looting in towns and cities across England hitting international news, it was probably widely reported that high-street sneaker shops Foot Locker and JD Sports were specifically targeted by the so-called “rioters”. However, it wasn’t just the big chains that were hit. Independent, skater-owned storeÂ Ideal in Birmingham, the Vans store in Manchester and Carhartt Outlet in Hackney, east London, were all ransacked and cleared out of stock.
Ideal (pictured below) should be familiar with most of you from appearing in Nike SB’s ‘Support Your Local’ apparel promotion campaign, with photos by Todd Jordan. Incidently, it was also the shop that introduced me to Nike SB around a decade ago when I lived in Birmingham.
The Manchester Vans store was a partnership shop, run by the shoe company and skaters from the local community. Footage of the incident has been posted on YouTube, along with a call for people to help identify the culprits.
The Carhartt Outlet was thought to be something of a hidden gem, tucked away on a sideroad. Clearly this was not the case, with it being one of the first places to be attacked as violence broke out in Hackney on Monday afternoon. Although there is a chance that it was chosen because it was out of the way and the looters could carry on with less risk of being spotted by police.
There were a great many other independent businesses that were destroyed during the four nights of violence, with extremely damaging consequenses for the local communities. However, those same communities are rallying round to repair this damage, with clean-up schemes and charitable funds being organised to bring things back to normal as soon as possible.
Our thoughts go out to all those in the skateboarding and wider communities affected by the “riots”. If anyone knows of any support schemes etc, please share them in the comments below.