Farewell Rio

IMG_5651Wansteadium feels bad about this. The Rio shoe shop has closed and no one seemed to notice.  It was a smart, if somewhat pricey, shop with very friendly staff, and it added to the diversity of Wanstead High Street. It will be missed. The shop nearly closed this time last year but staggered on for another 12 months.  Longstanding residents: Please use the comments to piece together a lifespan of the spot, ie what was there before?


32 thoughts on “Farewell Rio”

  1. Just wanted to let you know that Rio has closed down because one of the owners, Brenda passed away last month after a long battle with illness. She and her business partner Jackie ran the shop (and its sister shop in Buckhurst Hill) together for years and I think Jackie decided she couldn’t carry on the business without Brenda. I am so sad that this wonderful lady lost her life.

  2. I noticed it was going a week or so ago and whilst standing outside I met a passerby who told me the lady had died, which can explain why there was no notice in the window.

  3. It is sad to see Rio go as sadly one of the partners passed away and like many small independant businesses it was deeply affected financially by the coming of Westfield .
    Rio were the original tenants of this unit.Before this block was built the whole site was a vet And dog grooming parlour . Goddard and Allen were on the site before relocating to the Highstone in Wanstead .It had a huge green fence at the front and behind it was the veterinary practice and beyond that in what is now the car park for residents and businesses were the pens and grooming parlour . We used to take our dog there to be clipped when I was a child – he hated it and often used to escape and run home!

  4. That is a shame: the ladies there were always very friendly and helpful. It would be nice to think that it will be replaced with another independent local business that adds something to the high street and not another food outlet or nail bar.

  5. I suspected this was the reason, as Brenda had been ill for a while. You could not meet nicer, smarter, more professional or more fun women that Jackie and Brenda. They have not only supplied 75% of my (over-large) shoe wardrobe since the mid-90s, but they have also been a major part of my Wanstead life. Always there for a supportive conversation, a celebrity gossip, or tales of glamorous shoe-buying trips in Bologna, they always enriched and glamorised the High Street. Wanstead is diminished without Rio – so named because the radio was playing the song when they were trying to come up with a name short enough to fit in the little arch. I will miss them very much indeed.

  6. I was devastated to hear that Brenda passed away. I was a regular at Rio for 25 years and Brenda was always so good to me – as was Jackie.

  7. So sad. You always got a lovely welcome and helpful service along with a range of styles with something that could tempt most people who looked.

    We can no longer answer the question “where are those shoes from?” with “Rio” – always followed by “didn’t know you’d been to Brazil.”

    Rio and the ladies are sadly missed, unlike the bad joke.

  8. So sad to hear the news about Brenda. It was always a pleasure to go into Rio’s
    And have a little chat with Jackie and Brenda. One of my husbands best stories about
    Me was me popping over to buy some cheese in Cullans and coming back with a pair
    Of shoes and a handbag to match from Rio’s . This was in the late 80’s early 90’s, oh
    Those were the days. Wanstead will not be the same.

  9. Very sorry to hear that Brenda has died, and commiserations to Jackie. I always liked them both, and as others have said, they were always helpful and pleasant. The shop was a great asset to the High Street.

    Perhaps Wansteadium could pass on some of these comments? I’m sure Jackie would be heartened by the affection expressed here.

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