Shaftesbury has announced it has signed over 60 new retail, hospitality and leisure brands in Carnaby, Seven Dials, Chinatown, Soho and Fitzrovia since 1 October 2020. The strength of demand from operators also coincides with the rapid recovery in footfall and sales across its locations and represents a vote of confidence in their long-term appeal and prospects.
33 new retailers have joined Shaftesbury’s villages, of which 23 were brands making their debuts in the UK, including six from the US: LIDS, NBA, American Eagle and Aerie, Third Man Records and Gilly Hicks. Of the debuts, nine were online brands opening their first bricks-and-mortar stores.
Complementing the new retail brands, 29 F&B operators across 18 different cuisines or fusions have signed and opened in Shaftesbury’s portfolio. In addition, three of the new venues are bars or live music focused, including Nightjar, a jazz bar in Kingly Court.
Operators are focusing on Shaftesbury’s carefully curated, high profile villages, as footfall continues to rise and retail and F&B spending bounces back. Weekend footfall is currently at or above 2019 levels, while weekdays are at approximately 80%. Data from CACI and Location Sciences indicates Shaftesbury’s locations are outperforming the wider West End, where the volumes of people are currently at 72% of pre-Covid levels.
Samantha Bain-Mollison, Retail Director, said: “The level and quality of demand for space from such great brands and concepts reflects the strength of our portfolio and speed of its recovery following the lifting of pandemic restrictions. The 33 new retailers to have signed this year have added something different to our villages, reinforcing their positions as exciting West End shopping destinations and contributing to London’s status as a global city for retail.”
This round-up of Shaftesbury’s retail and hospitality leasing since 1 October 2020 follows the announcement of its 2021 annual results. Published on 30 November, they reported significant progress on the road to recovery for its 16-acre West End portfolio, which includes over 600 restaurants, shops, cafes, pubs and bars, across 1.1 million sq. ft. of space.