Department store group Fenwick is to leave central London after selling its Bond Street branch to provide the fresh capital investment needed to restore profitable growth.

Fenwick flag

Fenwick is selling its Bond Street store

Fenwick expects to trade from the store, which is being sold for an undisclosed sum thought to be in excess of £400m to Lazari Investments, until 2024, after which the property will become a mixed-use development.

Fenwick, which has had a presence on Bond Street since 1891, said “like the rest of the retail industry” it has been hit by tough trading conditions and “amid the turbulent economic environment, fresh capital investment is required in order to return the business to profitable growth and cement Fenwick’s position as the UK’s leading multichannel premium department store”.

Proceeds of the sale will be reinvested in Fenwick’s other stores, including the Newcastle flagship and its online operations. 

Fenwick will also use the cash raised to make a “significant contribution” to its pension fund and repay debt, share some with staff and return the surplus to shareholders.

Chief executive John Edgar said: “The capital injection from this transaction will put Fenwick in a much stronger position to grow its online business and concentrate on cementing our position as the home of excellent hospitality and a premium retail edit.

“After considering a range of options, it was decided that selling the Bond Street property is the right course of action to set us on the strongest possible footing for the future.”

Chair Simon Calver said: “This year, Fenwick marked 140 years as a successful British retailer and this deal will enable the business to continue to serve communities in stores and online for many years to come. 

“The sale has been a difficult decision for the Fenwick family, who are committed to providing the business with the means to thrive for the long term. Their support will enable the next stage of the journey for the Fenwick family business.”

Lazari Investments director David Silverman said: “The Fenwick store and adjoining properties are a landmark collection of buildings on the world-renowned Bond Street. 

“We are delighted to have entered into an agreement to purchase them. We look forward to creating a mixed-use development adopting the very highest standards of sustainable design.”

Last year, Fenwick generated a 71% increase in gross sales to £240m and achieved a 95% improvement in pre-tax losses to £5.2m.

The current Bond Street store comprises six composite buildings acquired between 1887 and 1961 and unified in the 1980s.

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