One in four retailers on London’s Bond Street have considered selling their leases in the hope of landing on free parking instead.
With parking space in the capital now costing the same as Lionel Messi’s latest tax return, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, De Beers and DKNY are among the big brands that are understood to be considering their options.
Westminster City Council’s Head of Expensive Shopping Mrs. Summer Sales said, “Bond Street is the most expensive place in Britain to run a store, with fashion brands paying top dollar to be located alongside the biggest names in luxury. Retailers have however realised that simply landing on free parking can make you enough money to build a hotel in Mayfair if you play using the rule where all fines and payments get stuffed under the corner of the board where the Free Parking square is.”
A recent retail industry report suggested that having property in Mayfair, Park Lane or one of the green ones like Bond Street may be too costly to generate a decent return. Instead, retailers are looking at sites on the Old Kent Road because it’s much cheaper to develop property there and there’s a strong chance people will land on it after passing go.
Business rate revaluation had been the final straw for some international brands, which are comparing the cost of operating a store on Bond Street with getting the Community Chest card that reads, ‘You are assessed for street repairs: £40 per house, £115 per hotel,’ and usually signals the point in the game where whoever is winning gets the smug grin that they’ve been wearing for the last hour instantly wiped off their face.
“Bond Street has a mortgage value of £160. If you can offload it, pass go a few times and land on free parking, you can always buy something more affordable like the train stations. Not many people like the stations but they can be a real money spinner if the dice lands in your favour,” Mrs. Sales added.