Shoppers drawn to Covent Garden by new Apple store

COVENT Garden is reclaiming its historic role as London’s shopping hub after the opening of the new Apple store in August attracted tens of thousands more shoppers to the area.

Capital & Counties (C&C), one of the area’s biggest landlords, said that the area has seen an 11 per cent increase in the number of shoppers since the store started trading.

On its first day alone it attracted over 20,000 visitors. A total of 46.4m shoppers went to Covent Garden in the year to September, about 40 per cent of them from overseas.

Rents in the area have increased as a result of the increased footfall and kudos and Capital & Counties has carried out 32 rent reviews.

There has recently been an influx of desirable brands to the area, including lettings to fashion brands Rugby Ralph Lauren, macaroon seller Laduree and outdoor-wear firm Jack Wolfskin.

Pop-up stores have also boosted the area’s credibility, with both singer Lily Allen and American label Kate Spade opening outlets.

C&C owns 46 properties in Covent Garden, and plans to buy more. Its chief executive officer said that the apple store had proved that Covent Garden can do “cool, current things”. The group also said that the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham has given it planning permission to expand the Olympia Exhibition Centre. Football club Chelsea has also recently held talks with C&C over buying the site. C&C?is also on the short list to redevelop Lords Cricket Ground.