Luxury retailers move to East London

Friday, 21 October 2011
Where luxury fashion houses have long fought for prestigious locations in prime Central London hotspots such as Bond Street and more recently Mount Street, luxury is now taking new direction and setting up shop in the East. 

Shoreditch is set to be home to a "mini Bond Street" as luxury fashion houses Christian Louboutin, Ralph Lauren and Vivienne Westwood home in on London's east end, setting the stage for a possible doubling of rents over five years. It’s a move amongst top end retailers to gain a new market by capitalising on a more edgy appeal and the emergence of an East end affluent society.

Industry insiders are seeing the cultural shift as similar to the Meatpacking district in New York, which in the 90’s went from downmarket to transformed through high end boutiques and services.

Now being targeted by the government to develop a media style hub around the key Old Street roundabout, the area is home to art galleries, fashion designers, media workers. Property agents are of course cashing in as they are noticing the trend for retailers to move away from the ever increasing rent rates around traditional hotspots – oxford street, Bond Street, Regent Street.

Developer Hammerson is planning a 485 million pound project south of Shoreditch High Street with about 630,000 square feet of offices and shops, whilst famed shoe designer, Christian Louboutin is reportedly weeks away from closing a deal for a store near the Boundary Hotel, on the sought after Redchurch Street. Whilst so too are Prada, Vivienne Westwood and Ralph Lauren scouting for sites.

Whilst the area is also attracting attention from overseas as far as China and Japan who are to launch some of their home-grown names there. Of course with this sudden flux of interest, rent rates have already risen.

Rents in Bishops Square, south of Shoreditch High Street, have risen to 135 pounds per square foot from 65-70 pounds since it was redeveloped in 2005. Rents on Redchurch Street have the potential to do the same over the next five years, said Rob Fay, Colliers International head of central London retail agency. However from a retailers perspective, even if rents were to double, they would still be well below the figures required for a Bond Street or Oxford Street space, which are around the £964 mark.

Photo: Louboutin FW11/12

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