Life after BHS

Once a retail stalwart, the collapse of British Home Stores in 2016 has left large holes in the UK’s high streets. However, their re-letting and renewal acts as a good barometer of where the market is going. The ground floor of BHS’s flagship store on Oxford Street was last September let to Polish fashion chain, Reserved. However, perhaps of greater interest is last week’s announcement that its more challenging upper floors will be converted into the UK’s largest food hall. This is part of a much bigger renaissance in the food hall market, which has its origins in the rise of street food, and the popularity of food-driven markets. Large food agglomerations are quickly becoming one of the strongest footfall magnets, even serving as tourist destinations in their own right (e.g. Borough Market, Chelsea Market in NYC). Although BHS is gone, this new attraction to one of the UK’s best-known streets may prove to be a more potent driver of business than its predecessor and a precedent for other cities. Read our detailed report on the rise of food halls here.