Buying British

It’s official: Jermyn Street is London’s ‘most British’ shopping street. We thought it would be interesting to look at the ‘brand nationality’ of the capital’s prime shopping pitches and the resultant research made fascinating reading.

Fewer than half of the shops in central London’s prime shopping streets are now occupied by British brands, but Jermyn Street continues to fly the flag with superb British brands.

Once the haunt of legendary dandy, Beau Brummel, Jermyn Street’s history as a shopping destination dates back to 1664. Today 88% of the shops that run between Haymarket and St James’s street represent British brands such as Turnbull & Asser, John Lobb, Fortnum & Mason and DAKS. Only last week, another great British brand – Aquascutum – announced plans for a new expanded menswear flagship store on the street.

In contrast to the British flavour of Jermyn Street, our study showed that Sloane Street is the ‘most international’ shopping pitch in London. Less than a quarter of the shops on the chic street which connects Knightsbridge and Chelsea represent British brands.

The increasing internationalisation of London’s shopping scene is simply another manifestation of the fundamental restructuring – and expansion – of its retail landscape. Not that long ago, the arrival of an international brand in London would have been a noteworthy event. Now it is almost a weekly occurrence.

During this transition period, some British brands may be displaced because they are no longer comfortable with the levels of rent that incoming international brands are prepared to pay. However, London is showing an amazing capacity to accommodate everyone who wants to be in the capital in new locations where they can find the shoppers they wish to attract.

More than 10m sq ft of new shops will be built during the next decade and we are going to have a broader, more diverse shopping environment than ever before.

London’s shopping scene has never stood still and we are now seeing an exceptional period of rapid evolution.

Find more info on our Central London Retail Healthcheck here.