The upmarket fashion and footwear retailer, which was put up for sale at the end of last year, is understood to have paid a premium of about£1 million to secure the property and give it the same brand presence as other nearby upmarket competitors such as Jaeger, Burberry and Austin Reed.
The prominent 3,500 sq ft store, occupied by US classic clothing retailer Talbots at present, sits on the corner of Regent Street and Vigo Street.
A spokesman for LK Bennett denied that the decision to take the store was prompted by the retailer’s sale adviser, Rothschild. There had been suggestions that the retailer had been advised to secure a flagship site for the business to be more attractive to suitors.
“LK Bennett is continuing its expansion during the sale process and has secured a site on Regent Street and one in Guildford,” said the spokesman. “As the product range has increased, LK Bennett has been searching for larger sites and the two latest deals reflect that ambition.”
Some industry sources have claimed LK Bennett’s£150 million price tag was too high and the sale could stall because of the credit crunch. Founder Linda Bennett, who opened her first shop in Wimbledon village in 1990, is understood to have wanted to complete a deal by April, when laws on capital gains change.
However, the spokesman said: “We expect to be able to have some news on the sale in the next two weeks.”
Bennett, known as the queen of the kitten heel, pulled the plug on a sale of the business in 2004 after poor Christmas trading meant offers fell short of the mooted£75 million asking price.
LK Bennett has 70 stores in the UK, including 18 in London in locations such as King’s Road, Hampstead and Kensington.
The disposal leaves Talbots with two UK stores, in Kingston and Guildford. It opened the Regent Street store in 1998, but the company has scaled back its presence in the UK.