Battersea Power Station Set To Shift Retail Axis In London
Battersea Power Station opens as a new shopping and dining centre on 14 October
With developer Battersea Power Station Development Company saying that 90% of the retail and leisure space is let or under offer, more than 60 new stores and dining locations will open their doors Friday, 14 October, with a total of around 100 units eventually opening inside the two former turbine halls.
In addition, Spanish fashion retailer Zara and furnishing and homewares brand Zara Home will also open a combined 48K SF store on Electric Boulevard — the route linking the underground station to the main building — on the same date.
London fitness brand Third Space and a 24K SF Arcade Food Hall will open in 2023, as Battersea Power Station aims to shift the retail axis in the capital.
Simon Murphy, chief executive at BPSDC, insisted that the main aim of the scheme is to capture some of the “billion pounds of retail and leisure spend that leaks out of the borough of Wandsworth every year”. But the site’s proximity to Tottenham Court Road via the Northern Line makes Oxford Street a key target.
Also nearby is Westfield White City, the shops in and around Chelsea’s King’s Road, Kensington High Street and Knightsbridge, plus the smaller, rejuvenated Southside Centre in Wandsworth.
All of them will now have to deal with the potential impact of a spectacular new mall set within a London landmark, none more so than the ailing Oxford Street.
London’s most famous shopping thoroughfare is continuing to face the post-pandemic proliferation of American candy stores, the departure of several department stores and a disjointed ownership that has seen it lose footfall to the carefully curated Crown Estate and Grosvenor managed retail streets around it.
Battersea also stands to benefit from a shift in emphasis away from the large brand flagships formerly favoured by a number of fashion retailers, which are seeking to shift strategy toward more compact flagships based around their key consumer demographics.
The recent opening of a flagship — replacing one in the West End — on the King’s Road by Jigsaw and the latest Apple store on Brompton Road are two nearby examples. And although Uniqlo and Superdry have both opened flagships in the West End recently, they will also be present at significant scale at Battersea.
“There is definitely still an element of retailers who are looking for that big flagship," GlobalData Senior Apparel Analysts Emily Salter said. "But even those are being designed with a more localised feel, more personal and relevant to their location.”
BPSDC’s Murphy was keen to play down rivalry with the West End and instead pointed out that south west London is “badly under-represented” in terms of its retail provision and cited Kingston as the nearest sizable retail hub within the south west London catchment.
He said that the first aim of the project is to keep residents within the borough and spending at stores and restaurants closer to home.
“We want to capture the essence of the 15-minute city,” Murphy said at the pre-opening launch of the project. “Residents and workers can do everything here, there is no reason to leave the area. This is about more than the development itself, it’s also about how the whole area has been regenerated since the opening of the U.S. Embassy.
“And it’s also about the opening of the Battersea Power Station Underground station. The two projects went hand-in-hand and without that transport link this would have been a very different project, almost certainly residential-led,” he said.
The retail provision at the Power Station will include a wide range of fashion, beauty and athleisure brands including Hugo Boss, Theory, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, Nike, Adidas Aesop, Space NK, Ace + Tate, Lululemon, Mulberry, Jo Malone London, Superdry, Uniqlo and Mango.
Leasing director Sam Cotton said that the company has looked to mix well-known brands with independents and those new to physical retail or new to south west London. Examples include neighbourhood bookstore, Battersea Bookshop, from specialist bookseller Stanfords, plus Curated Makers, a retail concept that links local independent artists and makers with the high street, which will be opening its first unit in London as part of a retail zone leaning toward reuse and recycling.
The Power Station’s two Control Rooms, which managed the distribution of power from Carnaby Street to Wimbledon — even powering Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament — have also been fully restored.
Control Room A is set to become an events space, while the food and drink offers throughout the turbine halls also include Control Room B from Inception Group, a 1950s style all-day bar, which will be opening in one of the Power Station’s original control rooms.
Le Bab, Where The Pancakes Are, Poke House, Clean Kitchen Club and Paris Baguette all have units, while The Boiler House at the heart of the Power Station will be home to the recently announced 24K SF Arcade Food Hall from JKS Restaurants, although this will not open until 2023.
A boutique cinema, specialist leisure offers and a viewing experience called Lift 109 located in one of the chimneys will also be part of the consumer offer, while offices and coworking spaces complete the occupants.
The wider development, which includes residential towers, offices and more retail and F&B, is continuing to enlarge. Murphy estimates that development will continue for “another decade” with the nature of the new buildings evolving within planning consents that he said provide BPSDC with flexibility.