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A&D Warehouse, with a 40,000 sq ft sales area, is due to open next spring in Shepherds Bush, promising to meet dealers’ needs while asking them to commit to no more than a three-month lease.

Bryce Estates Ltd, who are redeveloping the Victorian building most recently used as a TV props studio and store, have brought in dealers to advise them on how best to design the interior and develop their services for the trade.

The developers expect the mix of benefits offered by the warehouse to entice dealers away from high-rent premises further into London as well as providing an attractive sales platform for those who usually keep stock in storage between fairs. The project is also specifically targeting the crop of new young dealers who focus on design, promising to provide a highly versatile, comparatively low-cost exhibition and selling space.

“We want to create a buzzing atmosphere that will bring back the large-scale international buyers who used to go to the fairs and shops in London, but who now go further afield because the costs of running those businesses have pushed up prices,” said a spokesman.

“This is an idea we have talked about for some time, but this building provides us with the unique opportunity to realise those aims.”
In addition to promises of a cafe, parking space, zero commission, no duty days and a full package of ancillary services, a central element of the development will be a permanent exhibition space, devised by an exhibitions designer. The developers propose a rolling display of room settings to include suitable stock from dealers on the surrounding stands.

Stands, manned by a team of sales and security staff, will vary in size and form depending on the needs of the dealer concerned. There will be open high-ceiling spaces for those wanting to display large architectural objects and smaller, more intimate spaces for those with antiques that best suit them.

The warehouse – set midway between Heathrow and central London – is geared towards business-to-business trade, with no public access except for dealers’ private clients by special arrangement at the weekends.

Bryce Estates managing director Nicholas Tubbs, who has spoken informally to upwards of 35 dealers about the project, believes the warehouse can capitalise on the current weaknesses of businesses in more established trading areas in the capital.

With capacity for what Mr Tubbs believes will be hundreds of dealers, he hopes that the warehouse will prove attractive to dealers currently working from high-rent, long-lease properties.

The new warehouse proposes initially to ask dealers to commit only to a three-month lease, making it a viable proposition to those who keep stock in storage between fairs.

Bryce Estates also intend to set up a management association whose membership will be entirely made up of dealers using the space: “The dealers know what they want, they don’t need us telling them,” says Mr Tubbs.