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International brands continue to make London their top choice

Ultra-cool Japanese outdoor brand, Snow Peak, is opening its global flagship store – and its first store in the UK – in St James’s Market, near Regent Street in London 

The Crown Estate, advised by Colliers International, has let 4,300 sq ft to Snow Peak. The unit, which is split over three floors, is located in St James’s Market – a scheme The Crown Estate developed in a joint venture with Oxford Properties. 

The new store will sell a range of Snow Peak’s camping equipment, gear and clothing. 

Kei Saito, director of Snow Peak UK, said: “When looking for a flagship store in Europe, we were excited to find such a great retail space in St James’s Market. Surrounded by specialty stores and restaurants with a quality focus, we are very happy to begin our new chapter of the business here.”

David Carlsson, Director, Retail Agency – Central London at Colliers International, said: “The Crown Estate’s long-term vision for St James’s Market has resulted in a carefully curated tenant mix that is enhanced by Snow Peak’s own unique offering.”
He continued: “Snow Peak’s acquisition is a show of confidence – not only in St James’s Market and The Crown Estate’s vision for this world-class retail destination, but in London itself as a global shopping capital.” 

Recent research by Colliers International reveals that since the European Union referendum in June 2016, the number of international brands opening stores in London increased by 17 per cent, compared with the preceding two years prior to the Brexit vote. 

Coupled with the stabilisation of rents, Colliers believes this situation is opening up the playing field for new international entrants who previously found the market too competitive and struggled to establish a foothold. 

“Certainty around the pound devaluation and more leasing flexibility are offering significant benefits to international brands,” added Carlsson. “Many, such as Snow Peak, see the opportunity to take advantage of the current situation, which they feel will play out well for them in the medium-to-long term.”

Oliver Smith, head of St James’s at The Crown Estate, said: “The addition of Snow Peak and Beau Brummell will further enhance the reputation of St James’s Market, and ensure we are a destination which is known for offering experiences that cannot be found anywhere else in London.”

Colliers International advised The Crown Estate.