London's Bond Street still strong despite lower shopper traffic
London’s Bond Street — one of the world’s most expensive retail real estate locations — is retaining its appeal and its price premium, a report said this week.
It’s seeing plenty of big-name prestige development but also the kind of quirky pop-up developments that we don’t always associate with the home of UK luxury.
With London commuter numbers rising and Heathrow passenger numbers up too, international real estate advisor Savills said it’s seeing a rise in ambitious refurbishments of retail properties in anticipation of the luxury consumer returning.
“The bounce-back has been marked by one investor injecting £10million on store units at 107-110 New Bond Street, with 110 launching this week with an innovative graffiti installation set against the backdrop of the store”, it said.
Meanwhile, landlord Great Portland Estates has transformed a retail space into an immersive art exhibition at 95 New Bond Street
It has worked in partnership with leading British contemporary artist LUAP to curate a five-day exhibition next month based around LUAP’s signature motif: The Pink Bear. The life-sized teddy bear with magenta pink fur will be represented through unseen photography, paintings, installations, sound, and film.
The exhibition, entitled “The unconscious therapy”, is open to the public free of charge and follows on from an initial pop-up by GPE and LUAP in the windows of 95 New Bond Street. “It is part of GPE’s wider aim to draw back footfall to Bond Street by curating places that offer experiences – not just retail”.
Looking back at the Savills research, it said that “investor appetite for Bond Street remains strong, with prime yields holding at their pre-pandemic level of 2.75%”. This is in contrast to other key streets in the West End, which have seen indicative prime yields hurt by 25-50bps.
Savills also said Bond Street alone is accountable for 55.1% of all retail investment in central London in H1 and has already seen a major deal complete in H2.
The street is certainly seeing plenty of development activity with a planned Balenciaga store and a revamp of the Burberry flagship there both notable at the moment.
It’s interesting too — given the low levels of tourism recently and fears that some Chinese consumers will spend more of their luxury fashion cash at home — that Savills cites forecasts suggesting “domestic spend will become a more prominent component of expenditure in the global luxury market over the coming years”.
With London often featuring in the top ranking global cities for ultra-high-net-worth individuals, it “expects to see domestic spend growth, which will, in turn, boost occupational demand on Bond Street”.
Anthony Selwyn, co-head of global retail at Savills, said: “It is clear to see that investor confidence in Bond Street hasn’t waned, evidenced by the significant investment we are currently seeing at 110 New Bond Street and its neighbouring buildings. We expect to see this particular part of the street go from strength to strength over the coming years, with the launch of Crossrail in early 2022 and the opening of the Mandarin Oriental hotel at Hanover Square set to have huge impacts on footfall. This will extend the street’s luxury retail provision and encourage a wave of new, high end retailers to enter the world class line up we already have on Bond Street.”
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