Birute Vijeikiene via Shutterstock
Once a flurry of well-heeled tourists and attentive sales assistants, Chanel’s New Bond Street flagship shop sits empty during lockdown. Inside the 12,600-square-foot store, diamanté-encrusted deer sculptures and crystal chandeliers throw shadows across deserted sales floors.
The luxury brand snapped up 158-159 New Bond Street for around £310 million in October, reportedly fighting off competition from rivals including the Abu Dhabi royal family. The purchase was proof of the brand’s dedication to the idea of physical retail and a show of confidence in London’s premier luxury destination. But faced with a mass exodus of residents and dwindling prospects for summer tourism, can London’s luxury stores survive 2021?