As we expand as a company, it’s time to start thinking seriously about the location of our next Abandon Ship retail store. We get suggestions all the time, so we’ve put our top guys on scouting and researching where absolute best geographical location would be, and we’ve narrowed it down to a shortlist of five places!
Kowloon Walled City
Following the Japanese settlement of Hong Kong during World War 2, the Kowloon settlement became incredibly densely populated. With thousands of apartments and businesses enclosed in such a tight area, development continued inwards instead of outwards, and all without the advisement of a single architect. The buildings became so close that there was barely any sunlight, and rather than streets and roads, the entire complex had to be negotiated by a maze-like network of rat runs and alleys. Kowloon Walled City was completely ungoverned, and as a result was rife with crime – drugs, gambling, prostitution and violence were commonplace. The Chinese and British governments didn’t even want to deal with what was going on in there, and the few half-hearted raids attempted by Hong Kong police were pretty much worthless because they were walking into a labyrinth without a map. Despite the Triads influence, the people of Kowloon Walled City were generally peaceful, and with positive action from new generations of residents, the crime rates were declared under control by 1983.
Pros – always going to be busy; can pay rent with drugs or black market contraband.
Cons – Kowloon Walled City was demolished in 1994.
Dracula’s Castle, Transylvania
Out of all the spooky, old castles in Romania’s countryside, this is the one considered by most to have been Dracula’s. Commissioned in 1377 and built some time after that – probably took some time, I can’t imagine building a castle on a big grassy hill in the 14th century while being harassed by vampires would be an easy assignment – this castle currently acts as a museum, but was put up for sale in 2014. It might be a little outside of our budget, but you’ve got to speculate to accumulate, right? …right?
Pros – a ton of passing trade from tourists, scenic views, historical significance.
Cons – shop would need to shut before sunset and would need to stink of garlic to ward off bloodthirsty vampire attacks.
Pyongyang, North Korea
Apparently it’s good business sense to capitalise on emerging markets, and from the look of Pyongyang fashion week, the good people of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea could do with a little sartorial guidance. With a population of over three million, Pyongyang is the capital of North Korea, and its economic centre. Granted, as Westerners it would prove pretty difficult to get into the country for even a day, let alone establish a business, but as the old saying goes, ‘if something isn’t impossibly difficult due to political red tape and ideological differences that could result in immediate death by firing squad at any minute, it’s not worth doing’. It’s good to diversify, even if the people of North Korea can’t afford to eat while Kim Jung Un eats his dinner off solid gold diamond encrusted crockery.
Pros – according to North Korean propaganda their teams win the World Cup and Olympics every time, their economy is booming, unicorns exist there and their leader is actually a God.
Cons – none of it is true and human rights atrocities are commonplace. King Jong Un killed his own uncle for ‘dreaming different dreams’.
Once the heart of America’s economy with its famous automotive industry, Detroit turned from powerhouse to ghost town after peaking in the 1950s, falling into a downward spiral of economic decline that culminated in the city’s filing for bankruptcy in 2013. Detroit became the poster child for the 2007 financial crisis in America: once a shining example of the American industrial machine, now reduced to a series of photographs of abandoned buildings on Flickr. Detroit Rock City became Crack Rock City. It’s always been a dream for us to break America, so maybe a small Abandon Ship retail outlet could act as the spark that reignites Detroit’s economic prosperity and helps it transform into a utopian paradise.
Pros – rent would be dirt cheap and we might meet Eminem. Detroit’s economy is recovering – thanks Obama.
Cons – crack.
The Red Sands Sea Forts
These weird, alien looking sea platforms were built in the Thames Estuary during the Second World War to defend the UK from enemy attacks – and we all hate Hitler. After the war they were used for a variety of pirate radio broadcasts and presumably some fucking shady underground casino action. What makes this location even cooler is that another platform nearby called the Roughs Tower was taken over in 1967 by an absolute headcase called Paddy Roy Bates, who established his offshore fortress as the Principality of Sealand, HIS OWN FUCKING COUNTRY!!! The madcap antics didn’t end here however, in 1978 another head case, this time a German guy called Alexander Achenbach who apropos of nothing decided he was the rightful Prime Minister of Sealand, hired a group of armed mercenaries to storm Sealand and take Bates’ son hostage. Incredibly, young Michael Bates was able to turn the tides on the mercenaries, repel their attack and take Achenbach hostage. After being charged with treason, Germany had to send a diplomat to Sealand to negotiate his release. Achenbach never gave up his claim to Sealand, even naming a successor who still claims he is the legitimate ruling authority. As much as this madness sounds like the plot from Waterworld, it is all verifiable fact! You can actually google Sealand and pay to become a Lord, Lady or Baroness of the Principality of Sealand. Imagine we had a water fortress too! First thing we’d do would be declare war on Sealand.
Pros – brand appropriate: actually like an abandoned ship. Could establish our own country.
Cons – inaccessible. We would possibly have to fend off armed mercenaries like in Die Hard… maybe that’s a pro actually.
In case it wasn’t obvious, there is a certain tongue-in-cheek element to this post, but we do want to know where you’d like to see the next Abandon Ship store? Let us know on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.