Microsoft is on the cusp of securing its first UK store on London’s Oxford Circus, Retail Week can exclusively reveal.
The technology giant is in advanced talks to move into 255-259 Regent Street – the prime unit on the junction of Oxford Street that is currently occupied by United Colors of Benetton.
The Crown Estate, which owns the property, had previously explored options to redevelop the block, but has instead opted to re-let the unit.
Retail Week understands Microsoft is poised to sign a 10-year lease and the deal could be completed “in the coming weeks”.
Despite discussions being at a “very advanced” stage, sources close to the situation cautioned that “the ink isn’t dry just yet” on the contract.
Should the deal go through, it would bring an end to Microsoft’s lengthy search for a UK flagship.
The business has been linked with a London store for a number of years following a string of successful openings in the US, including a flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue.
Retail Week understands Microsoft had previously been close to securing another site on Regent Street, but ultimately shelved the move.
Microsoft is yet to respond to Retail Week’s request for comment.
Commercial property agent CBRE, which is understood to be acting for the tech titan on the deal, declined to comment.
Microsoft’s entry to the UK would represent the latest example of a brand taking physical retail space on Oxford Street.
Dyson unveiled its first British store on the sought-after street in July last year after agreeing a £1m-a-year rent deal to take on a vacant unit opposite Selfridges − a deal first revealed by Retail Week.
And footwear brand New Balance threw open the doors of its London flagship last October as brands increasingly bid to cut out retail partners and sell direct to consumers.