An End of An Era: The Closure of Tatty Devine Covent Garden
Despite trying everything in our power to stay at 44 Monmouth Street the Landlord has other plans, so it is with a heavy heart that we announce our Covent Garden store is now permanently closed.
For more information, see our press release below:
TATTY DEVINE EVICTED WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT FROM CENTRAL LONDON BY UNDERHANDED LANDLORD
Much loved independent British jewellery brand Tatty Devine has been
kicked out of their flagship store of 14 years - with just two weeks notice - by corporate giant Shaftesbury Capital.
After the Shaftesbury Capco merger, long-term tenant Tatty Devine is now victim to a dominant monopoly using modern business culture to drive independents out of central London, putting jobs and business at risk. Their lease was terminated with immediate effect on 29th August with no warning, leaving the acrylic jewellery stalwarts scrambling to find a new retail site - and putting retail jobs at risk.
Tatty Devine had been actively communicating with Shaftesbury since July 2022 to establish and confirm a continuation of lease. A new 5 year lease was agreed in principle this April and was being presented to the Board at Shaftesbury. When the lease expired at the end of June 2023 a Tenancy at Will was issued under the proviso that the grant of a new lease of the premises was in play. However, Tatty Devine was then notified on 29 August that they were required to leave the premises by 14 September - despite the fact that they had been consistently led to believe that the lease would be renewed without any issues.
This is the latest in a series of blows to a once-vibrant shopping district. Multiple empty units throughout the Seven Dials and Carnaby Street areas, with retailers navigating the impact of COVID lockdowns, harsher trading conditions and their landlord. Tatty Devine is in conversation with fellow independent brands who have been ousted by Shaftesbury Capital owned locations.
Founded by Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine in 1999, Tatty Devine has been not just a destination store for locals and tourists looking for iconic, one-of-a-kind British designs, but a spirited hub for some of the capital’s most visionary creatives. Their Monmouth Street store played host to creative performances, gatherings and pop-ups including haircuts by stylist to Lady Gaga, Charlie Le Mindu, meet and greets with globally renowned illustrator Gemma Correll, showcased collaborations with musical legends from David Bowie and Pulp and just last month, a performance piece by artist Silvia Ziranek.
44 Monmouth Street, straddled by empty units. September 2023
Wolfenden and Vine, who received MBEs for Services to Fashion in the Queen’s New Year Honours 2013, stated:
“It’s both unethical and immoral that Shaftesbury Capital actively chose to put shareholders' profits before the interests of not just a long term tenant, but the neighbourhood’s value as a shopping destination. Not only has our lease been terminated with immediate effect, we have also been rejected for a new lease on a Soho street also owned by Shaftesbury Capital on the basis of ‘a differing tenant mix strategy.”
“If you take a walk through Seven Dials, you’ll see street after street of empty shops, which cannot possibly entice shoppers. If Tatty Devine, a well-established, thriving independent business, can’t find a retail home in central London, is there any hope for others? How can we sit back and accept a vibrant, central London shopping district becoming stale, homogenous and empty? We are heartbroken, and whilst we are doing everything in our power to protect our business and team, we are deeply concerned about the possibility of retail redundancies. We cannot take this lying down.”
The news has incited outcry amongst the cult brand’s fans, with customers, supporters and fans on the brand’s Instagram post announcing the sudden closure, amassing over 3,000 likes and 300+ comments of shock and support in just 48 hours. Brand and retail expert Mary Portas was moved to state that, "these two wonderful women founded @tattydevine in 1999 and have weathered the ups – and downs – of the high street ever since. But this is what happens when greed and gain takes over from creativity, commerce and community. And it’s becoming all too common."
Founder of curated marketplace, Not on the High Street, Holly Tucker MBE stated, "The British high street has long been the jewel in the crown for villages, towns and cities across the UK — a ‘best in class’ for the rest of world world but it needs the independent spirit and creativity of brilliant brands like @TattyDevine to sustain that energy and forward thinking. To keep bringing footfall to our high streets and money to our shops." Night Czar Amy Lamé also took to social media to voice her support, "They've helped make shopping in London fun, vibrant and inspiring!"
The Times spotlights our ousting from our flagship London store by Shaftesbury Capital in their illuminating report on the new corporate face of Carnaby Street. Consumer Affairs Correspondent Andrew Ellson states: "In the Seven Dials area of Covent Garden, which is also owned by the company and was the location of the Tatty Devine shop, dozens of stores have been shut. When The Times visited the area this week, which is made up of seven streets radiating from a central roundabout and then a handful of other side streets, 52 retail or hospitality premises were either boarded up or closed. At least twenty of these are sites owned by Shaftesbury.”
Tatty Devine’s 44 Monmouth Street store has now closed (effective Tuesday 12th September), and the brand is actively searching for a new retail site.
PR Contact: Charlotte Prichard | firstname.lastname@example.org
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