Is the Harry Potter effect on the wane? Shambles shop is closing down

The sign in the shop. Photographs: Richard McDougall
13 Jul 2019 @ 5.32 pm
| News

It looked like the world of fantasy had a firm grip on York’s most famous street.

But the latest TV-themed shop on Shambles has lasted barely three months.

The Game Of Thrones inspired shop opened in the former Gift Gallery has started a closing down sale.


Fronted by a sign declaring, ‘You know nothing, Jon Snow!’ the store sells all sorts of merchandise based on the blockbuster TV series.

It also sells Marvel, Star Wars and – inevitably – Harry Potter products too. But now there’s 25% off everything as it prepares to close its doors.

Rent hike

On its way
The Game of Thrones store is one of three on the street run by the Gold Brothers, one of Edinburgh’s most prominent retailing families, who own a series of gift shops selling tartan souvenirs in the Scottish capital.

The other two, both Harry Potter-themed, opened after the runaway success of home-grown gift emporium The Shop That Must Not Be Named.

It has been such a success that it doubled in size last year.


Another wizard-inspired shop, The Potions Cauldron, has proved a hit, YorkMix understands.

But retailing in Shambles has been hit by a hike in rents by City of York Council.

The council owns about 70 per cent of the units on the hugely popular street and retailers say the local authority has increased rents by about 10 per cent.