Fashion's flight from Oxford St continues as IKEA tipped to buy Topshop flagship
The number of fashion-focused shops on premier shopping thoroughfare Oxford Street looks like falling even further with news that IKEA is likely to take over the former Topshop flagship, in a key Oxford Circus position.
It's believed the Swedish interiors giant will pay around £385 million for the prime site that has a long lease and is the last of the assets to be sold after the Arcadia fashion empire collapsed.
Property news site React said it’s on the verge of a deal to take over the building that also contains a Niketown store and a Vans branch (the latter in a space formerly occupied by Miss Selfridge).
The proceeds will pay off a £312 million mortgage that was taken out on the building in 2019 and £40 million of the purchase price should be heading towards the Arcadia pension fund.
Topshop had operated the store since 1994 and it was once a key destination for anybody interested in fashion who was visiting London, whether they were on a budget or usually shopped at higher-end designer labels. But its recent fall from grace saw it losing its lustre and the Topshop brand is now owned by online-only giant ASOS.
The building attracted plenty of interest from potential buyers and reports said that the billionaire owner of H&M, as well as landlord Great Portland Estates, had also been keen to buy it.
It's unclear how much of the building IKEA will occupy immediately (or eventually), but it underlines how fashion has fallen in importance as far as overall representation on Oxford Street is concerned. This had been happening for some time, but the pandemic precipitated the closure of a number of shops such as Debenhams, the Gap flagship, a Next flagship, and Topshop itself.
IKEA hasn't yet said what its plans are but has said that it's looking at different formats as part of its new approach to city centres.
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