Fortnum & Mason today opened a new restaurant and shop in the Royal Exchange in a move it said marks its commitment to London as a global financial capital.
The restaurant will be the luxury department store’s first outlet in the City. In addition to its flagship Piccadilly location, which opened in 1707, the company also has stores in St Pancras station and Heathrow Terminal 5.
Fortnum & Mason's new outpost comes after years of close ties between the company and the City, the luxury retailer said.
Its new restaurant is located in the central courtyard of the Royal Exchange, which was established in the 16th century as London’s first purpose-built centre for stock trading. The new shop, which sells the brand’s famous hampers, covers almost 2,400 sq ft.
The retailer’s expansion indicates its ongoing growth after several years of increased profit. Pre-tax profit increased 23 per cent last year to £7.6m and the company reported record Christmas results.
Chief executive Ewan Venters said: “Fortnum’s at the Royal Exchange is the manifestation of our message that London remains open, and that the world’s most important financial centre in the City remains vibrant.
“The Royal Exchange provides not only an important postcode location, but a culturally important environment bringing together two brands with a shared history in trade.”
The opening of the new Fortnum and Mason restaurant follows a shake-up of food and drink outlets in the Royal Exchange. The department store took over the space from luxury restaurant operator D&D London, which had run previous incumbents the Grand Cafe, The Gallery, Threadneedle Bar and Sauterelle.
Fortnum and Mason is owned by British holding company Wittington Investments. The group, run by the Weston family, also owns Selfridges and has a majority stake in Associated British Foods.