26 November 2018
Concierge Service Launched to Support Small Retailers Opening in London’s West End
Retailer focussed approach eases process of setting up shop
A Retail Concierge Service has been launched by central London landowner Grosvenor Britain & Ireland to ease the passage of smaller, independent retailers and start-ups in taking physical space in the capital’s retail heartland.
The company owns many of the West End’s key retail destinations in Mayfair and Belgravia including Elizabeth Street, Motcomb Street, Mount Street and Duke and North Audley Streets providing 1.75m sq. ft. of retail space across 534 units.
Approximately two thirds of Grosvenor’s retailers are independent brands and, for many, their first physical store is on the estate. The Retail Concierge Service was developed after research highlighted common frustrations experienced by growing brands that are often time poor and on a budget:
- Project managing a store opening with no experience
- Sourcing reliable, experienced & cost effective contractors
- Sourcing quality fittings and furniture
- Setting up and managing utilities
- Accessing marketing & PR services
- Accessing rich customer data for local customer base
- Finding a cost efficient on-demand general maintenance including cleaning and handyman service
- Providing staff training on a budget
Tor Burrows, Director of Placemaking, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland commented: “With so many young and independent brands on the estate we are acutely aware of the stress and time that is involved in launching a store. Our Retail Concierge Service makes it a lot easier for ambitious retailers to take new space. We provide critical support and infrastructure in a cost effective and collaborative way, preventing the most common mistakes and accidental overspends, which can be damaging to a small, cost sensitive, brand.”
About the service
Grosvenor is offering pre-opening and ongoing support to new retailers covering:
Store fit out: vetted designers, contractors, project managers and furniture suppliers
Utilities set up: Electricity, gas, water and Wi-Fi installed and working on arrival
Facilities management: cleaning, on demand handy-men, recycling and zero to landfill waste collection
Marketing: designing, creation and installation of brand imagery; cost effective small runs of branded items
PR: access to experienced PR and media buying services
Learning & development: discounted training and innovation workshops; introduction to HR services provider.
A trial will also be launched to existing brands on the estate.
Tor Burrows added: “We have worked to leverage the scale of the estate for the benefit of retailers. The experience of those on our pilot was phenomenal and we are now excited to be offering this to new brands wanting to come to our estate.”
Ahead of its launch, Grosvenor has completed a number of successful pilots of the concierge service.
One of these was Myne London, a British fine jewellery brand, which sources emeralds and inspiration from the Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan, where the founders, two sisters, spent some of their childhood.
Myne London was established in March 2018 as an online company, which would also distribute products via larger luxury retailers. Through an early collaboration with Beluah London on Elizabeth Street in Belgravia, the team saw the benefits of trialling a small retail outlet in the same area. The team opened a pop up at 84 Bourne Street, had a launch party for their brand and went live with a website all in the same week.
Fiona Wellington, co-founder, Myne London said: “This was only made possible thanks to using the concierge service. We were very pushed for time when we signed our lease and wanted to be able to open the new shop as soon as possible. The support we had in setting up utilities especially WiFi and the on call handyman meant that we were up and running within two weeks. We were also able to be fully redecorated inside and out in this time."
“We saw this as an opportunity to trade sooner and so for us it was a financially sound decision as well as reducing unnecessary stress or costly time consuming mistakes.”
Supporting the success of the West End
The launch of the retail concierge service is just one way Grosvenor is working to improve the environment for those visiting, operating and working in the West End. In early 2018, Grosvenor announced it would invest £1 billion to deliver new and improved retail and office space across its estate backed by significant investments in the street level environment, green spaces, cultural events and visitor experiences.
Tor Burrows added: “We are investing to ensure the competitive advantage of the West End for generations to come. Our commitment will help the estate be more open, accessible and enticing to a broader range of people.”
Recently, Grosvenor has demonstrated its ability to cultivate highly attractive enterprising spaces with long term impact through activity such as:
Digital investment: A £2 million investment to improve the West End’s digital resilience, bring down barriers for local businesses and future-proof consumers’ use of the internet.
Eccleston Yards: a new hub for creative enterprise, well being and co-working launched around a new public square this year.
The transformation of Grosvenor Square: a public call for ideas preceded the creation of a professional panel of leading figures in culture, architecture and design to secure the capital’s second largest garden square’s place as a defining public space in London.
Grosvenor was advised on the Retail Concierge Service by innovation consultancy Reset.
For more information contact:
Rachel Garstang, Head of Media Relations, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland
+44 (0)20 7312 6957
To contact Grosvenor’s Retail Leasing team, please email: email@example.com
Notes to Editors
About Grosvenor Britain & Ireland:
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland creates and manages high quality neighbourhoods that are great places to live, work and visit. Our diverse property development, management and investment portfolio includes Grosvenor’s London estate of Mayfair and Belgravia and other developments in London, Oxfordshire and Cambridgshire.
We are part of the Grosvenor Group, one of the world’s largest privately-owned property companies, which develops, manages and invests in property in more than 60 cities around the world.
As at 31 December 2017, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland had assets under management of £5.2bn.