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London's luxury shopping stretches prove unaffected by economic crisis

During this year, record values have been recorded for rentals and the expansion of retail spaces on Bond Street and Sloane Street in London – two of the world's top shopping locations – the international real estate advisor Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) now reports. A total of 13 transactions involving approx. 6,200 sq.m were successfully concluded on these two luxury locations. In so doing, some 2,400 sq.m of new sales space has been added to the total stock of space available during this year (1,400 sq.m in Bond Street and 1,000 sq.m in Sloane Street.

"Designer labels in particular have provided a strong push for expanding floor space in these shops. They are reacting here to increased demand from their customers, whilst of course wanting to increase their profits at the same time," explains Inga Schwarz, who is responsible for research at C&W in Germany. "Due to this pressure from demand, 2,415 sq.m of new space came onto the market – mainly from the conversion of office space into retail space. Yet this supply is still way below the demand." On both Bond Street and Sloane Street you find ten interested parties for just one place that comes on the market. Accordingly, the top rent rate currently stands at just under £1,000 gross per square foot per annum; that equates to € 1,148 gross per square metre per month.

Italian designers were particularly active, who dominated the market with 38% of all rental activity. Five of the thirteen transactions recorded involved these designers: for example, Alberta Ferreti expanded her business at 205–206 Sloane Street from 325 to 465 sq.m; Loro Piana took over the rental space of a neighbour's business at 47 Sloane Street, from which a flagship store of approx. 325 sq.m was created out of the two combined spaces; and another example was Salvatore Ferragamo of 207 Sloane Street who took over rental space from Pegasi Investments on the first floor in order to extend sales space to some 560 sq.m by converting this office space into retail floor space. 

Also very active along the way in the market were Swiss labels, who accounted for three of the thirteen transactions (23%) during the course of this year. The moving of Ballys from 116–117 New Bond Street to number 45–46 also added to the figures. Of the French designers, two have moved to the prestigious addresses: Marithé Francois Girbaud put pen to paper for 107 New Bond Street, becoming brand new to the British market in the process; and Tara Jarmon will soon be opening a new business at 119 New Bond Street of some 280 sq.m in size. The London retail experts at C&W were involved in ten of the thirteen transactions this year.

"London's luxury shopping destinations have proved themselves uninfluenced by the economic slump in the UK, which has yet to be overcome, and the ongoing uncertainties in the global economy," comments Schwarz. "Bond Street and Sloane Street are retaining their premier statuses as what are super luxury locations and the demand for leases continues to be at record levels. For luxury fashion labels, being located in London is quite simply a must – merely for reasons of image alone. London is not just what is referred to as a 'fashion hub' – places like Bond Street and Sloane Street pull in a wealthy mix of shoppers made up of international customers, tourists and well-to-do Brits, too.