John Simons

RETAIL REPORT: Covent Garden – should a high street be more like a department store?

Oliver Sweeney Henrietta Street Covent Garden menswear destination

In the battle between bricks and clicks, the high street has suffered, but department stores have done well to up their game. They have become nimble at keeping pace with fashion, worked harder to collaborate with brands on pop-ups and events, and just seem more dynamic places to be. It’s something the rest of the high street can learn lessons from and I’m already seeing its influence.

Covent Garden got the memo some time ago. OK, it’s not quite a high street but it’s a shopping district that misplaced its mojo for a while and has since redeemed itself. In the 80s it was incredibly stylish and vibrant. At its peak, London’s cool set gravitated towards the Meccas of Paul Smith, Jones and thrift emporium Flip. (more…)

Retail report: The rebirth of Chiltern Street

Cire-Trudon-Chiltern-Street

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Chiltern Firehouse is the best thing about Chiltern Street, despite the fact that it’s not even properly open yet. While London’s It people have enjoyed countless dinners over the last few months, the hotel and restaurant don’t fully open for another couple of weeks (breakfast and lunch service is due to start at the end of June).

But there are plenty of other reasons to head to this genteel pocket of London, not least its new retail focus. If you skew to the types of brands sold on Mr Porter or Tres Bien and have a Scandi ‘lagom’ attitude to getting dressed, then this is your kind of shopping street. (more…)