Home Cameras/Lenses Leica London Leica Store really is open, honest

London Leica Store really is open, honest

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Today I went along to Mayfair to check on the new Leica Store and Gallery in Duke Street. I can confirm that it is ticking over nicely and the spacious new area — two normal-size stores knocked together — is a wonderful bas for sales and after-sales activities such as the Leica Akademie under the command of Robin Sinha.

staff at Leica Store London
The team at Leica’s new flagship London store — Adam, Yumi and Alice

Personal visit

I had to go to see for myself because earlier this week I got egg on my face by showing a construction site and suggesting it would be ready by February 28. Unfortunately, this was one of the stock items I’d had in the queue during the one-week break in Macfilos service. It published and then I began to get reports from readers that the store was in full operation on the date of publication. One reader told me he had bought a Q-P and that the store certainly wasn’t a building site.

Much more space for product displays in the new showroom

So to set matters to right, here is a glimpse of the new Leica Store in action. As I mentioned in the previous post, it is in a much busier area, not far from Selfridge’s department store on Oxford Street, and the staff confirmed that it is attracting much more passing trade than did the old premises in Bruton Place (which remain open for the time being, by the way).

The Leica Gallery — a large area for exhibitions

Light finger territory

Our contributor Paul Glendell (he of Classic Cases) raises an interesting point, though. Back at the rather secluded Bruton Place, customers could often take a camera or expensive lens outside to get a feel for use in the wild rather than inside a store. Paul suspects — and I feel he is right — that Leica will need to be more circumspect in the far more public environment of Duke Street and Oxford Street. That’s a pity, but, if so, it is probably a price worth paying for the much greater exposure the brand will gain in one of Europe’s most popular shopping areas.

The new double-fronted Leica Store and Gallery looking towards Oxford Street and Selfridge’s department store

The store certainly offers a much quieter and far more spacious opportunity to see and handle Leica’s finest. I couldn’t help noticing the section of the display cabinet devoted to four of the finest lenses in the M lineup — the Noctilux sisters, 50mm and 75mm, the 35mm Summilux and the 50mm App-Summicron. Pure lust. But that’s what Leica hopes will be the feeling engendered in all its new visitors…..

3 COMMENTS

  1. Thats a fair point about the new location, versus venturing out with one of Leica’s finest camera’s in the busier parts of London. I enjoyed my stroll around Mayfair with the M10, and few took notice of me. But I know that Oxford street is an entirely different experience, and I am not convinced I would feel comfortable with a Leica in my hand. I wouldn’t pull out my X or Df on Oxford street, let alone something more expensive.

    It will be interesting to see if this becomes an issue they need to think about.

  2. Leica might be a very well known name, especially amongst people that congregate on websites such as Macfilos, but I am not sure that being visible from Oxford Street is a particular advantage.

    I enjoyed a workshop there with Jim Marsden yesterday afternoon and it is a nice enough facility, but in my view not a patch on the Bruton Place address. I attended a similar event there with Robin Sinha and that upstairs space with the loft window is superb, and the coffee machine is a wonder to behold.

    In either case, I would rather go and annoy someone at Red Dot or Aperture anyway, but I suppose that is because I am more interested in the old film cameras when it comes to buying.

    • I also will miss Bruton Place when it eventually goes. It was something special, a hidden gem, whereas the new store is just one of many.

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