SAVILE RULES: Westminster Council plans to safeguard Savile Row and other historic London neighborhoods with new measures to keep large chain stores and inappropriate tenants at bay.
According to planning policies put in place this week, any business wanting to move onto Savile Row will only be able to use two floors for retail, while tailors’ workrooms, traditionally located in the basement of the buildings, cannot be removed or re-purposed.
Savile Row — and its surrounding streets — have always been designated for use by offices, restaurants and retail, but in the past there were few measures in place to prevent chains or larger retailers from moving into the neighborhood.
Now businesses that move onto the street will have to sell bespoke, unique, limited-edition or one-of-a-kind products and must be “complementary to the character and function of the zone.”
In 2007, there was outcry from local traders when Abercrombie & Fitch opened a flagship at the corner of Savile Row and Burlington Gardens. It’s more about polos and bikinis than bespoke suits and draws a far different crowd than the Row is accustomed to seeing.
Since then, however, there have been no major upsets on the street, which also counts a variety of high-end businesses, including shoemakers
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