Competition for shops in London’s West End is fierce and for retailers wanting to increase their floor space without drastically increasing rents, expanding into the office space above their existing stores is proving a popular option.
Recent examples of brands that have expanded upwards include Tod's (pictured above) and Salvatore Ferragamo on Bond Street; ACNE, Alexander McQueen and Dover Street Market on Dover Street; and D Squared, John Varvatos and Nicole Farhi on Conduit Street.
By taking space above their existing store rather than securing a new shop in another West End location, retailers could be save up to £1,300 per sq ft (£13,993 per sq m) on Bond Street and £600 per sq ft (£6,458 per sq m) on Dover Street. This move can also benefit the landlord due to attractive retail rents and the willingness of the retailer to agree longer leases to secure space.
Depending on the individual retailer and the design on the building, the fit out of the stores can vary. In some cases brands have expanded over a number floors with a traditional open plan retail layout and in others they have opted for a more niche, private and luxury environment.
The high demand from retailers for stores in London but lack of premium space means that we expect the trend of looking up to continue.