LONDON — Balenciaga is expanding its retail footprint in London with a store on Sloane Street that will open today with Demna Gvasalia’s “retail warehouse” concept.
The store, which spans 4,390 square feet over two floors, will house the usual gray industrial furniture, metal shelves and a system of conveyor rails showcasing the collections, but there will be new elements, too. “Hyper-real” models will grace the street-facing windows, and have been designed to imitate Eliza Douglas and Takato Harashima, two models who are exclusive to Balenciaga.
There are also LED bars lighting up the floor, and an aqua green carpet featuring the brand’s logo, a nod to its sell-out logo knits.
To mark the opening, the brand has also customized its signature leather shopping tote, printing “London” on it. Thirty pieces will be available exclusively on Sloane Street, priced at 965 euros.
Balenciaga has moved into the space formerly occupied by Ermenegildo Zegna, and the opening is part of a larger-scale refurbishment plan on the street that has been luring many luxury names to the southwest London neighborhood.
Chanel and Louis Vuitton are also in the process of revamping their spaces, and Burberry is planning to move to 1 Sloane Street by 2020.
Lifestyle is another focus on Sloane, with the founders of beauty destination Urban Retreat planning to open a new concept nearby, while an array of hotels, restaurants and deli openings are in the works.
The LVMH-owned Belmond Hotel Group has just opened the Belmond Cadogan Hotel on the street while the Costes is planning its first opening outside Paris a little farther south, near the Sloane Square Underground station. The Sloane Street Deli, by the Caprice Group, is meant to be a deli by day and a wine bar by night, and will be taking over the street’s former Thomas Pink store later this year.
All of the changes on the street have lifted footfall and consumers’ expenditure alike. Sales in 2018 were up 17 percent compared to the previous year, according to Global Data, while the average spend by international customers increased by 32 percent.