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Department Stores Will Add More Than 600K SF Of Office Space To Oxford Street

M&S' new building at Marble Arch

New plans revealed this week by retailer Marks & Spencer will take the amount of department store space on Oxford Street being converted to offices to more than 600K SF.

M&S said it planned to expand its 160K SF Marble Arch flagship store at the western end of the famous retail street from five floors to nine, two of which would be used for retail. That could see around 200K SF of office space added to the scheme. 

John Lewis has planning permission to convert about half of its department store about 400 yards to the east to offices, which will add 300K SF of workspace. And about 100 yards away from that, Publica Properties will convert 145K SF of the House of Fraser department store it owns to offices. 

Next door to that, Debenhams is closing its Oxford Street location, and any conversion there could also see office space added.

And just round the corner on Bond Street, Fenwicks is adding about 53K SF to its department store for office space.

The changes highlight just how far out of favour department stores have fallen with consumers: These are the flagship stores of companies that are among the most famous names in British retail, on the shopping street that gets more visitors annually than any other in the UK. 

The changes mean that Selfridges will be the only pure department store on Oxford Street. 

“The proposal not only means we can redevelop and modernise our store so that it better serves the local community on the UK’s destination high street, but by taking an assertive approach to the management of our asset base we can unlock additional value from the site at the same time and further support our transformation,” M&S Retail, Property and Operations Director Sacha Berendji said.