(Over)heated battle for prime window space by prominent retailers in Europe

(Over)heated battle for prime window space by prominent retailers in Europe

TextileFuture has reported before TextileFuture has reported before (see News January 14, 2014 http://textile-future.com/textile-manufacturing.php?read_article=2018 and News January 30, 2014 http://textile-future.com/textile-manufacturing.php?read_article=2070)   that available window space in favoured cities and avenues are very sought for and cash rich companies are buying up entire buildings to secure the best spots

Place Vendôme in Paris (F) is one of these spots and French luxury group LVMH is trying to push out smaller rivals. For that purpose LVMH has been buying one of the highest profile buildings. LVMH, owner of jewellers Fred and Chaumet and fashion label Louis Vuitton, has asked Buccellati, a family owned Italian jeweller, favoured by aristocrats and Hollywood stars, to leave Place Vendome No. 4 by the end of June 2014, three years before the end of its lease.

Buccellati describes its location as its most important shop window the company had been renting the building since 1979, and the company will fight to stay.

LVMH has acquired at the elegant 18th century square for more than EUR 200 million in 2011. It declares that it is exercising its right to give notice if it is to refurbish the property. The company has until May to ask for a construction permit. The group has already removed a small fashion boutique and antique jewellery shop from the building in 2013 and has also asked Italian jeweller Damiani to leave when its lease runs out in 2016.

LMVH spent also around GBP 300 million (around USD 499 million) in 2012 to buy several properties in London’s New Bond Street. Richemont spent USD 380 million in the same year to buy the St Regis Hotel in New York (USA), and Hermès bought its Beverly Hills store for USD 75 million, after having beaten Chanel to a GBP 75 million deal for the New Bond Street store of British jeweller Asprey in 2009. Prada has been buying several buildings in 2013 on Old Bond Street in London (GB) for more than GBP 130 million. Recently, Prada fought off competition for stores in Geneva, Zurich (both CH) and Milan (I) by offering advance cash payments of EUR 20 million or more.

The list of securing window space is long, and it raises the question for all involved whether the bull market for prime retail locations could overhead. According to Marc-Christian Riebe, CEO of retail property consultant The Location Group, states: “There are signs of a bubble right now in the European market.”


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