MALLETT have assigned the lease on their Bond Street rooms to fashion house Fendi and have confirmed that they are negotiating new premises in Mayfair.
The furniture dealers' chief executive Giles Hutchinson Smith told ATG that the move reflected Mallett's intention to adapt to the times – with more business by appointment than passing trade – by cutting overheads without compromising on the need for a "glamorous showroom".
Italian fashion house Fendi are understood to have paid a premium of £1.7m to secure the landmark store at 141-142 New Bond Street, and will pay a rent of £1.2m a year.
Meanwhile, Mr Hutchinson Smith explained that his company was beginning to look for new clients in the Far East, taking a higher profile at fairs, such as Hong Kong's Fine Art Asia in October, where increasing interest is emerging in long-standing British brands.
An announcement is expected concerning the new Mayfair premises within weeks.
Two years ago Mallett, one of the few dealers quoted on the London Stock Exchange, put on hold plans to leave Bond Street.
In the wake of a massive rent rise (50 per cent to £1.2m in 2008) and with reference to the changing character of the street, the London dealers first announced their intended departure from the luxury goods thoroughfare in 2008, but they were unable to pass on the lease of the building.
After staff cuts Mallett made a £1.3m loss last year, a 30 per cent improvement on 2009, on a turnover of £13.3m.
The news they will leave Bond Street follows the announcement of Bonhams' £30m redevelopment proposal for their Bond Street headquarters, which they hope will bring more of an art and antiques balance to Bond Street, which is increasingly being given over to top fashion brands.