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London luxury retailers buy stores to avoid rent hikes

Luxury retailers in London are buying their properties to avoid spiralling rents, research from commercial property adviser Cushman & Wakefield suggests.

Since 2011, around £1.4bn – about 70% – of property sold on London’s Bond Street has been purchased by retailers, The Independent has reported today.

Last year, almost half of the 80 properties on the luxury retail street were owner-occupied.

In 2014, Cartier’s parent company Richemont spent £300m buying five properties on Bond Street with developer Oxford Properties, while in April this year, Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega’s investment firm, Ponte Gadea, reportedly paid more than £400m for a stretch of Oxford Street.

Fergus Keane, senior director at Cushman & Wakefield’s West End team told the newspaper that buying is increasingly regarded as safer than renting in London.

“Landlords know that there is so much competition for prime space that they can charge almost what they like. They know how important London flagships are for these retailers,” he said.

Prada, MaxMara, Longchamp, Chanel, Fenwick, Ermenegildo Zegna and Yves Saint Laurent are among the luxury owner-occupiers on Old Bond Street and New Bond Street.

@Tara_Hounslea

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