Luxury grocer Fortnum & Mason is to open its first new store in the UK in more than 300 years.
The centre of gravity is moving…Fortnum’s goes northeast
The new store will open in November – in the original vaulted 600sq m former ticket hall of London’s St Pancras International station, still with its original brickwork and vaulting.
Fortnum’s, which opened in 1707 and has stood on Piccadilly for most of that time, said the move is its first new UK store in its 307-year history.
‘We feel the centre of gravity in London is moving north and east from Piccadilly,’ said Fortnum’s CEO, Ewan Venters, who joined the group in August last year after previously heading-up the food hall at Selfridges.
‘Thirty-five million people a year go through the station, and nearly a quarter of those people are going there to shop rather than to travel.’
A relocation of the Eurostar terminal to St Pancras in late 2007 has caused the once dilapidated area of London to be revamped.
Neighbouring King’s Cross station received a makeover in time for the Olympics last year, and the new Fortnum’s store will be a stone’s throw from the five-star St Pancras Renaissance hotel.
A spokesperson for Fortnum & Mason said the group has not yet decided on the layout of the store, or on specific wines that it will stock there. ‘This is still in its early stages,’ he said.
Fortnum & Mason has two retain outlets in Japan, which it opened in 2004.
Written by Chris Mercer