Bristol is a city that breeds a culture of independents – particularly when it comes to clothing – and home to some of the best independent clothing stores in the country. Dave Perry owns 5 Pointz, Bristol’s biggest independent streetwear store.
How did 5 Pointz start out?
I’d had a personal interest in sneaker collecting, hip hop, independent streetwear brands and the whole surrounding culture for a good few years before the idea of starting a shop had ever occurred to me.
My two older brothers who were running their own restaurant were offered a vacant shop in Old Market. They weren’t interested in it, but having gone with them I had the idea that it could be an urban clothing store. At the time I was relatively clueless and had no experience of retail but thought perhaps I could pull it off with my passion for hip-hop and everything goes with that.
So I signed a lease and tried my best to get some stock from a list of brands I had put together. This wasn’t easy, as I was just an eighteen year-old kid with no experience in the industry and so I didn’t get taken too seriously. After a lot of bothering them by phone and email, plus plenty of trips to London, I eventually got a few accounts.
What was your original idea behind the shop/ brand?
The name ‘5 Pointz’ is a reference to the infamous graffiti mecca in New York. Most of the brands we stock were founded either in New York or one of the big West Coast Cities, so I thought the shop name should reflect this somehow.
What are the benefits for a customer coming to an independent shop, rather than shopping in big chain stores?
When you visit an independent streetwear store like ours, the staff who serve you will be part of a small team who are passionate about the products and everything linked to the culture. I work closely with my staff and everyone knows a lot about the brands. In a big chain store the shop floor staff are unlikely to know the people who select the products and make the decisions. I think that is a big difference and hopefully makes the experience of shopping at an independent store more enjoyable.
Do you have any exclusive brands in 5 Pointz that shoppers won’t find elsewhere?
5 Pointz is the only store in Bristol to stock several of the biggest streetwear brands at the moment, including HUF, Crooks & Castles, The Hundreds and a good few others. Our aim has always been to be very careful with the selection of brands we stock, but to strongly represent the brands that we have believe in.
What is unique about 5 Pointz as an independent shop?
I think every independent shop has its own unique qualities, and I strongly believe they are a vital part of our retail industry. Otherwise everything would be too uniform and boring… and I’m not just saying that as an independent business owner, I feel the same when I’m the customer. I think the most unique thing about us is the range of products we provide, which is rare for an independent. We’ve been able to achieve this because of the continued support of our customers and their appreciation for what we offer.
18 Nelson Street, BS1 2LE