May 14, 2021
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Historic Arthur Beale set to ship out of central London as pandemic devastates business

May 14, 2021

Arthur Beale, one of the oldest stores in London, is to close permanently next month. The storied yacht chandler on Shaftesbury Avenue, adjacent to Covent Garden, is to shut its doors after 150 years in the location.

Arthur Beale

The company, which has “supplied sailors, adventurers and explorers for nearly 500 years" selling sailing equipment, accessories and clothing, said it was no longer able to afford its central London rent following the impact of the pandemic.

However, the business also said it will continue to operate online and hopes to have a “London presence again, some time in the future”.

In a statement on social media, the company said: “The impact of Covid-19 means the company can no longer warrant paying the rents that a central London shop demands so we have no choice but to move on to pastures new”.

“We were left in a very precarious state as a result of the pandemic but luckily for us we have found two enthusiastic new investors to help inject some much-needed capital back into the business”.

Alisdair Flint, who bought the business in 2014 and remains a director, also blamed letting agents and local councils for the store’s demise. 

In a blog he said: “Neal Street, just around the corner from Arthur Beale, is described as ‘one of the most eclectic streets for shopping in London’.Yet when I took a stroll down the street just before Christmas there were 16 empty shops”.

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