Bond Street shoppers will be treated to a “grand entrance” and a concierge shopping service as part of a £20m plan to keep the West End shopping destination ahead of its rivals.
The New Bond Street Development Group, led by former Fortnum & Mason boss Beverley Aspinall, has drawn up a plan for the street’s first revamp in 30 years.
It includes a new “grand entrance” to the street and seating opposite The Ritz hotel, while it will also introduce a new concierge service for wealthy visitors which will deliver shopping to their hotels, according to The Telegraph.
Aspinall said: “In terms of the best luxury shopping area in the country, it’s not good enough. We need to stay ahead of the international alternatives where they [luxury shoppers] could shop instead.”
Aspinall wants to smarten up Bond Street by levelling out uneven pavements, removing unnecessary signs, improving the landscaping with plants, moving bike racks at the entrance of the street and cutting the number of delivery vans.
She said: “This is the entrance to the smartest shopping street in London. It’s charming, but it could be better. There needs to be a sense of arrival.”
Bond Street’s revamp has been designed to take advantage of its attractiveness to tourists from China, Russia and the Middle East.
The street holds a reputation as one of the world’s most expensive retail destinations after a boom for luxury brands drove spending by Chinese tourists. The trend has driven up rents on the most luxurious part of the street, which is traditionally the shops on Old Bond Street close to Piccadilly, to more than £1,000 per sq ft in some cases.
The development group, put together by the New West End Company which represents retailers in the area, has worked on the plans with Westminster City Council and Transport for London.
Part of the funding will come from the retailers on the street and Aspinall also hopes to win some taxpayer funding.
Aspinall has drawn up an outline plan for the modernisation of Bond Street by 2018, designed to coincide with the opening of Crossrail, a development that is expected to bring an extra 70,000 visitors to the area every day.