Gifts & Greetings Review was pleased to discover that one of the UK’s most iconic stores, Fortnum & Mason, plans to open a ‘prestige outlet’ in the stunning location of St Pancras International Station in London.
25 new jobs will be created by the store opening, which is due to take place in November 2013 and will be situated in St Pancras’ 2,000 sq ft Ticket Hall.
Fortnum & Mason, which specialises in fine foods and luxury gifts, reported a fall in operating profit from £1m to £345,000 in the year to July 15 2012, but experienced a 17 per cent year-on-year rise in sales over Christmas. St Pancras station is the Eurostar gateway to mainland Europe and ideally positioned to capture the tourist trade as well as British commuters.
Fortnum & Mason chief executive, Ewan Venters commented: ‘St Pancras is London’s Grand Central Station. It’s a great opportunity. We feel the centre of gravity in London is moving north and east from Piccadilly. Thirty-five million people a year go through the station, and nearly a quarter of those people are going there to shop rather than to travel.’
Customers will have the option to design and order Fortnum & Mason’s famous hampers in-store using iPads. A range of Fortnum’s products will be available at the store, including an ‘on-the-go’ offer for train passengers.
Founded in 1707, Fortnum & Mason is now owned by Wittington Invesments, the investment company of the Weston family. It already operates a number of conceptual shops within shops at airport terminals, where it sells mainly tea, biscuits, confectionary and other food items.