Retail property consultant David Kenningham is to spearhead the New West End Company’s strategy for the east end of Oxford Street, wooing international retailers to the emerging district.
Kenningham has stepped down from his role as executive director of retail at CBRE to take on the job, which was officially announced at a NWEC conference today.
He has been tasked with attracting a range of names into the area – which is set to be regenerated as part of the Crossrail development – and will liaise between retailers and landlords to create a holistic approach to the area. NWEC has previously said fashion would become “king” of the area.
Kenningham told Drapers he was looking to win over brands from the US and Europe predominantly, although would also be approaching some from further afield including Australia.
He will then work with the disparate property agents to create a coherent strategy across the broad.
“We want to give that part of Oxford Street a completely separate identity to the rest of central London and west Oxford Street,” he said. “Not every store will be different – obviously Primark is already there and Zara will be soon – but it needs to have a different identity.
“It’s very early days but in property terms four years is nothing…The challenge will be identifying the retailer and then convincing them to come.”
Kenningham said he had target brands “in my own head” but declined to go into detail beyond confirming they would tend to be younger-skewing than the type of retailers on the west side of the street.
NWEC has also revealed who its new chairman will be once Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas steps down this summer.
Former chief executive of Westminster Council and London Development Agency Sir Peter Rogers will take on the mantle this summer.
London mayor Boris Johnson thanked Jonas for “her sterling work”, adding that Rogers would help the West End go “from strength to strength”.