London Luxury Retail – a Global Destination


You have to hand it to Leigh Jennings from Movers & Shakers  and her assistant David for creating a magnificent event at the Dorchester to discuss Luxury Retail London.  Luxury London has been described as a doughnut with a rich centre.  After listening to a superb presentation by Catherine Lambert of Jones Lang LaSalle, London should be described as a ’Cronut’.  For people who don’t know, the Cronut is a large doughnut which has a very generous layer of sugar, oozes with custard and is topped with icing.  The Cronut generates queues of customers who are willing to pay over the odds to have a mouthful of the sugary confection, and demand outweighs the production.

Over 500 people listened to an all women panel of the very best retailers.  We learnt from Beverley Churchill about what really makes Covent Garden tick and creating the best customer experience.  Atty Hussain of Fortnum and Mason explained how the store can have five restaurants making it a destination for shopping, meeting, and eating.  But the star of the morning had to be Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas DBE, who is the retiring Chairman of The New West End Company, which is responsible for the turn-around in Regent Street.  Dame Judith led the panel to give us insights into the new trends in retailing.  The idea of luxury brands moving into the  1st ,2nd and 3rd floors of buildings creating ‘Total Houses’ for exclusive brands was pure inspiration and I hope someone takes it up.   www.fortnumandmason

‘Quarters’ are very important; that is why we now have London’s Luxury Quarter, with Bond Street as the artery. The prime end is Old Bond Street, where the rents reach astronomical levels and there is a waiting list to get in.  The art galleries and niche shops which circle Bond Street are a great draw and add to the shopping experience.  Allegedly, whenever there is an exhibition, gallery opening, or auction, the sales of jewellery, handbags and all the other things for sale in my favourite street rise accordingly.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Annoushka Ducas of the jewellery brand Annoushka.  Before Annoushka joined the panel on stage, I learnt how Annoushka started on her upward trajectory of becoming the jewellery favourite of many women, and was awarded an MBE last year for her hard work. With outlets in the top department stores and stand-alone Mayfair and Knightsbridge boutiques, Annoushka epitomises what makes London the No 1 retail destination in the world: bright, talented with a will to win and keep winning.