Fashion brand Hollister has snapped up the store on Regent Street currently occupied by National Geographic, Retail Week can reveal.

It will be the first central London store for Hollister, which usually prefers to open in shopping centres, such as Westfield London and Brent Cross.

Competition was said to be fierce for the store, due to a lack of good space coming on the market in the West End.

Hollister was going head-to-head with other retailers including Superdry for the shop on the iconic shopping street.

Hollister hopes to open the shop in time for the London 2012 Olympics, it is understood. It covers 18,000 sq ft across three floors.

National Geographic opened to much fanfare in 2008. The company told Retail Week last month that it did not intend to close its high profile shop on Regent Street.

Hollister parent Abercrombie & Fitch could not be reached.

Landlord Crown Estate and property agency Capita Symonds, which acts for Hollister, both declined to comment.