Department store Fenwick is reportedly looking into a 500 million pound sale of its Bond Street flagship, which is housed in a historic four-floor building.
It is unclear, as of publishing, whether the sale could mean the retailer will continue operating on the site or not. In a report by The Sunday Times, Fenwick’s former chairman Mark Fenwick marketed the sale as a potential redevelopment opportunity, while another source from the publisher said the Fenwick family wanted to continue trading on the site.
The report comes as plans by the retailer, to offload the entire business, were dismantled during the pandemic.
The news site further relayed that the iconic store was preparing to be sold to Thailand’s Central Group in 2020, but the sale was scrapped as the pandemic progressed. Since then, the Group purchased Selfridges in a four billion pound deal in December 2021.
Possibilties and disadvantages
Potential buyers for the Bond Street location are believed to include luxury group LVMH and Sir Stuart Lipton, the driver behind London’s Broadgate development.
Fenwick, which was founded in Newcastle in 1882, is jointly owned by over 40 family members who oversee the retailer’s nine UK store locations, which also include the likes of Brent Cross and York.
Despite the location’s size, The Sunday Times added that the large price tag has potentially put off some prospective buyers.
The retailer took a hard hit during lockdowns and also suffered from the rise of online shopping. In the year to January 2021, it made a loss of 112 million pounds on sales of 140.5 million pounds. Additionally, in its last report, its pension scheme revealed a 28.3 million pound deficit.