Fenwick’s London flagship to create office space to raise revenue

Fenwick Westminster council flagship
The initiative is part of a plan to weather the crisis on the high street
// Fenwick’s London flagship will convert some floors pace into offices as part of its efforts to raise revenue
// The plans were approved by Westminster City Council

The Fenwick flagship in London’s Bond Street has seen its plans to convert some of its floors pace into offices approved by Westminster City Council.

The initiative is part of a plan to weather the crisis on the high street, with the council agreeing that shops are facing “exceptional” challenges.

The changes involve the construction of four floors of offices, a fourth-floor restaurant and an office entrance on Brook Street.

READ MORE: Fenwick owners given dividend payout despite loss-making year & job cuts

Meanwhile, around 10 per cent of the store’s floors pace will disappear, though much of it will be “back of house” and not accessible to the public.

Around 3500sq ft of shop floor will also be removed.

The proposal, which was recommended for approval by council officers despite them describing the loss of floorspace as “unfortunate”, was unanimously backed by members of the six-strong planning committee on Tuesday.

“Trade has become substantially more challenging in recent years due in large part to the structural shift of retail sales from physical stores to online platforms,” Fenwick spokesman Hugo Fenwick said.

Fenwick is a fifth-generation member of the family that founded the department store chain.

“Although mitigated by significant investment in the brand’s own multichannel platform, it is recognised that Fenwick will need to extend the building to provide a further revenue stream that will cross-subsidise the contribution from the department store,” he said.

Fenwick’s other London stores are at Brent Cross and Kingston, alongside other outlets nationwide.

In its latest accounts, which were for the 12 months to January 2019, it made a £44.2 million pre-tax loss on total sales of £355 million.

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