An overview of the evolution of Bond Street’s retail offerings

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London Fashion Week will be underway. All eyes will once more be on the capital, which has been long considered one of the most critical global retail destinations.

Bond Street is today one of the most popular shopping areas worldwide. Many high-profile luxury brands have their flagship stores here. This has only sometimes been true. Going back 20 years, you’d have passed many mid-market brands and household retailers before reaching Burberry or Gucci.

Nearly a quarter of the stores weren’t occupied by jewelry or fashion brands in September 2000 (this number has since fallen to 19%). Antique retailers and auctioneers made up a significant portion of the non-fashion occupiers. However, a music instrument store, haberdashers, and tobacconists also resided there.

It is less than half of the fashion brands found on Bond Street in 2000. Some surprising names like Coach and Fendi were absent. Only 27% of the brands that were there are still in the same stores today, including Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes.

Bond Street has seen its fashion offering evolve to be more international and upmarket. It’s more European than ever. In 2000, the UK was home to one of the most prominent retail groups with similar numbers of Italian brands. Fast forward 17 years and Italian luxury brands dominate the street. They now account for 34% of all fashion shops, and Fendi and Valentino have opened flagships in recent years. From 37% in 2000, European brands now hold 63% of all fashion stores.

The sizes of stores have increased. As retailers have increased their demand for ‘flagship opportunities,’ twenty of the Bond Street stores in 2000 are now part of larger stores.

It begs the question, what does Bond Street’s past tell us about its future? Given the global softening of luxury spending and the prospect of occupational cost increases due to the April business rate revaluation, this is a pertinent question. We have seen more luxury heritage brands take up space on Bond Street recently. This should strengthen Bond Street’s status as a top luxury destination. Bond Street’s location in one of the most famous cities in the world and home to a high concentration of wealthy people will ensure that luxury brands continue to be attracted to it. Bond Street will also be more attractive to shoppers and brands thanks to plans to improve its public realm.

London was home to 41 new luxury stores last year, which ranks it first globally. Seven were on Bond Street and Philip Plein’s first UK shop. Although luxury retailing is constantly changing, Bond Street remains very fashionable.

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