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Iconic department store launches 70% sale as it closes after 130 years

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AN iconic department store has launched a huge sale with up to 70 per cent off as it prepares to shut up shop after 130 years.

It was announced last year that Fenwick would be closing its central London store in Bond Street for good.

Fenwick in Bond Street is expected to close in early 2024

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Fenwick in Bond Street is expected to close in early 2024Credit: Alamy

Now, with its sale underway it could be in its last days of trading, although there has been no official closing date.

There are plenty of signs the retail landmark could be closing its doors for good, according to London expert known on X, previously Twitter,  as IanVisits.

The store has already shrunk from five floors to three, with the lower ground and third floors closed to shoppers, reports suggest.

While Fenwick’s website has started an “archive sale” exclusively for its Bond Street location, offering up to 70 per cent off.

Fenwick started trading in 1882, with its store on Bond Street opening in 1891.

But reports emerged in December 2022 indicating it was making less than half the amount of its counterparts in Brent Cross, Kingston and Newcastle.

Chairman Simon Calver then announced the decision to close the store.

Lazari Investments bought the Mayfair site for £430million with the new owners hoping to convert the building into a “mixed-use development”.

The news comes as Fenwick CEO John Edgar admitted the run up to Christmas had been “challenging” and that the number of people buying from stores had only picked up in the last couple of weeks.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme last month: “December has been a slower start to the month than we’d expected but people have been picking up, especially in the last week or two – quite significantly – leading up to a late Christmas.

“Certainly people are being a bit more discerning about what they’re buying. But we’re still seeing great performance on things like fragrance, handbags, food and beverage… and individual items, like Jellycat for example, have been flying off the shelves.”

Mr Edgar added: “I think Black Friday has morphed into a Black November for many retailers, which personally I don’t think is a good thing.

“We’ve never gone down that route, we don’t really do a Black Friday event ourselves as a retailer.

“I think some people have taken similar views over time and have moved away from that wider discounting and some people feel that’s right for them.”

He continued: “We do try and make as many full price sales as possible and keep that full price message.

“It would be hard to say it hasn’t been challenging but certainly the last couple of weeks, as I’ve mentioned, have been encouraging.”

The move comes after Boots and Next are shutting three branches on January 13, leaving local residents devastated.

Next is set to close a store in Derry, Northern Ireland, next month, after it shut its branch in Galashiels, Scotland, last August.

In September 2023, the retailer confirmed plans to close 11 stores across the whole year in a blow to shoppers.

In June last year, Boots announced it would be massively consolidating its portfolio of 2,200 stores to 1,900 branches.

Figures this month from the Centre for Retail Research revealed over 10,000 shops and almost 120,000 retail jobs were lost last year, in a major blow for the high street.

But it’s not all bad news as a number of retailers have been expanding, like Poundland.

Supermarket chain Iceland has been opening stores, with some under the Iceland Local brand.

Primark and B&M have all been growing their portfolios too, with B&M acquiring 51 former Wilko sites.

Meanwhile, Paperchase has relaunched 250 concession stores in Tesco branches and Wilko has returned to the high street after both retailers fell into administration.

Fenwick is offering up to 70 per cent off in its 'archive sale'

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Fenwick is offering up to 70 per cent off in its ‘archive sale’Credit: Alamy

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