The building housing Foyles’ iconic flagship store on London’s Charing Cross Road has been sold to real estate fund Brockton Capital for around £45m, according to Property Week.
The Foyle family’s Noved Investment Holdings vehicle is expected to pump the proceeds from the sale back into the bookstore business, according to the trade magazine.
Paul Currie, chief executive of Foyles, told The Bookseller that any sale would not affect the store’s business, because it is currently four years into a 20-year lease on the property, with a rent review coming up next year.
“We are currently a tenant and pay Noved Holding rent,” he said. “We have a lease on the building for twenty years. We will not be moving. We are currently in a good place at the moment, we have a wonderful modern building and that is something to be proud of.”
Foyles moved its then 111-year-old flagship branch a few doors down to 107 Charing Cross Road, reopening as a “dazzling” 37,000 sq ft shop designed by Alex Lifschutz from Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands in June 2014.
Noved Investment Holdings bought the building, the former Central St Martin’s School of Art, in 2011 for less than £30m, with US developer Hines developing residential apartments on the upper floors which have since been sold off.
At the time Foyles relocated to the new store, Christopher Foyle, chairman of Foyles, told The Bookseller. “Saint Martin’s told us that it was thinking of moving to new premises... I thought if the Saint Martin’s building became available then it would be great as there is much more space. We embarked on a three-year refurbishment programme and during that process we had some of the worst periods of the (economic) crash but we didn’t falter. That shows how strongly we felt about the move.”
The seven-shop chain saw sales rise 6.4% to £26.6m in the year to 30th June 2017, but incurred an operating loss £68,000 from a profit of £131,447 a year earlier after overhauling its supply chain and logistics systems.
Christopher Foyle has been contacted for comment.