If that's the case it's taken CoL Corporation an awful long time to realise they don't like it. There's been a greengrocer's shop on that site for as long as I've lived in North Southwark, which is almost 40 years, that also sold Christmas trees. As far as I'm aware the shop is allowed to display produce at the front of the shop, as greengrocer's always have done. Is the ban on trees also being extended to the florist in Great Suffolk Street that I've just bought a tree from? This is all very odd indeed!
(Sorry for taking us off topic - but thanks for the replies).
The Fruit Tree were selling Xmas trees on Saturday (as were Denise's Florists), and - yes - the Fruit Tree (and the florist - although only sometimes, and Terry's Café - both part of the same parade, and so I assume they all share the same landlord) all use the pavement space in front of their shops.
The pavement is pretty wide there, and the area that they use is sort of set back from the actual pavement, so I can't see why anyone would have a problem.
IMO there's less room to get by on the other side of the street (The Libertine, Mustard, and the newsagent near Olleys) - although I guess that they have a different landlord.
There's a ding dong between the florist and fruit and veg shop. The owner of the sandwich shop got the lease for the fruit and veg shop but it is not working. Hence need to refurbish & try to change the lease which he originally agreed to. He is trying to sell teas and coffee as well as Christmas Trees to impact on the florist and Terry's cafe. Most shop owners are hacked off by the underhand actions of one..
(IIRC, though, the old fruit & veg shop always used to sell Xmas trees - although it didn't sell drinks. I'd not noticed the new veg shop selling coffees, although I know it used to sell fresh orange juice and smoothies even before the refurb)
Daniel said he's not going down without a fight, so perhaps he's refused to remove them from sale. Apart from anything else, he's had to buy them so what's he meant to do with the stock if he can't sell them?
This is what's confusing. You agree to X (I've fruit & veg) which doesn't work so try and take on Y which is but is not part of your agreement. Why don't Terry's & Denise start selling fruit and veg at a better price & quality as well then.
I live opposite and I don't see a problem with them selling Christmas trees. As others have said, they don't intrude on the pavement, and although they may be overpriced, people are buying them.
I don't buy anything from the Fruit Tree, or the bakery (both owned by the same people), as I always feel they're looking down on me and see themselves as better than I am.
That aside, I have spoken to several business owners, and the stories I've heard mirror what ljgiles has said.
It seems if you own 2 businesses in the area, it makes you better than everyone else.
I can see why the other businesses are upset, when someone else comes along and starts selling the same items, but on the other hand a bit of competition never hurt anyone. After all, aside from the bakery there are 2 cafe's opposite each other, and they seem to co-exist in peace.