The decline of Tottenham Court Road, former electronics capital of London

For decades, Tottenham Court Road in central London was the place to go for any kind of electronics, and I’ve spent many an hour stomping up and down the street trying to hustle the best possible price out of rival shops along the street.

In recent years, rising rents and the growing impact of Internet shopping have seen a huge reduction in the number of electronics shops along Tottenham Court Road.

Many of the old electronics shops have now been taken over by coffee shops or more mainstream High St stores, while some have remained empty for months on end.

A lost paradise for hagglers

It was one of last vestiges of a main shopping street where you could still go in and haggle like a pro.

I used to go in to the shop and say, “I’m buying [this gadget]. I have cash. I’m going to walk up and down this street for a hour and give my money to the shop that offers me the best price today. So what is your best possible price?”

I got some hefty discounts from that approach!

Although the majority of electronics stores have now disappeared, there’s still some to be found along the street, so it’s still worth visiting if you’re after some new electronics gear.

Be prepared to hustle too – with a bit of persistence you can sometimes get bargains every bit as good as the internet and you won’t have to wait around for it to be delivered!

[Map]