In a boost for post-Brexit Britain, French luxury brand Chanel has selected London over Paris and New York to be the home for its new global headquarters.
It is the first time in the 110-year history of the iconic brand that the majority of its global business functions will be under one roof; combining finance, legal and accounting.
The brand will move approximately 50 new jobs to London in an effort to simplify the way the business operates.
The Wertheimer family, who own and control the global brand, said that:
“London is the appropriate place to do that for an international company. London is the most central location to our markets, uses the English language and has strong corporate governance standards with its regulatory and legal requirements.”
Chanel, known globally for its tweed suits, handbags and perfume, had global sales of over £7bn last year, and employs more than 20,000 people.
It is the jewel-in-the-crown of the French fashion industry and this announcement will come as a blow to French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been courting international companies to move to Paris post-Brexit, in an effort to bolster the French economy.
However, it appears that the allure of the City of London was enough to move even the most iconic of French brands.
The reality is that the UK’s lead over other European financial centres such as Paris and Frankfurt is much bigger than previously thought. And it’s a lead that no other EU country is going to displace anytime soon, Brexit or no Brexit.
New Financial, a City-based think tank, has recently released an index that shows that the City of London is in a league of its own when it comes to European financial centres. London’s banking and financial sector is nearly three times larger than that of France and Germany. For domestic financial activity, the UK is the fourth biggest market behind the US, China and Japan, and not far short of double the size of France and Germany.
Chanel’s move to London should not come as a surprise but we do often forget the financial power and prowess that exists in Britain’s capital. We must look at this move as a positive sign for our future; Brexit is an opportunity for us to use our financial strengths and promote them across the globe.