Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse is openeing a new London store at Borough Yards, South London’s newest retail, office, leisure, and food and drink district. The globally-renowned chef operates almost 30 chocolate shops across France and London, with stores in the capital located in Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, and Oxford Street’s Selfridges. The Borough Yards store will occupy 1,400ft² of space and serve chocolate and ice cream manufactured from the in-store kitchen – in what is a London first for Alain Ducasse, and based on their La Manufacture concept in Paris.
Borough Yards was developed by leading pan-European investment manager MARK, which manages over €10bn (£8.75bn) of assets across Europe. The London-based firm was behind the redevelopment of Burlington Arcade, the UK's longest-covered high street, signing up a swathe of Chanel-owned labels as well as other well-known luxury brands. It is also redeveloping the iconic The Whiteley building as part of the wider Queensway parade regeneration.
James Bell of Gillingham Bell said: “Mr Ducasse’s Manufacture de chocolat was born from his desire to get to the roots and the true essence of what makes chocolate: the work of a craftsman. Given the rich food and craftmanship heritage of Borough Market, it was a natural fit when considering location plus there was a perfect connection between the first La Manufacture in Paris with its authentic, raw, discordant decor and Borough Yard’s combination of the old and new buildings.”
Stéphane Prévidi, International Development Director at Les Manufactures Alain Ducasse, said: “The opening of this new store in one of London’s most vibrant locations brings a significant advantage to our development strategy. Our Manufactures branch started in 2013 with Le chocolat, then in 2018 with Le café and, more recently La glace and Le biscuit. Altogether, these four Manufactures are present on four markets with more than 30 stores.”
Mark Gamble, Senior Managing Director and Head of Asset Management at MARK, said: "Borough has all the ingredients to be a fantastic shopping destination but the area has always been marked by a lack of high-quality retail. The arrival of a globally renowned brand like Alain Ducasse illustrates the transformative role that Borough Yards plays in this respect. We are taking the lessons we learned in revitalising Burlington Arcade to a create a modern, lifestyle-led 21st century high street set in 19th century railway arches. Retail and leisure was becoming more experiential before the pandemic but with the lockdown-induced boom in online shopping, brands are going to have to give consumers even more of a reason to visit their store.”