O2 Telefonica 'buys West End flagship space of Barratts'
The flagship West End offices and retail space of collapsed retailer Barratts have been purchased by telecommunications giant O2 Telefonica.

Administrator Deloitte announced that an unnamed buyer has acquired Barratts Priceless Group, with the deal including 89 stores.

Joint administrator and partner in the restructuring services practice at Deloitte Daniel Butlers said: "We are delighted to have negotiated a deal, which will secure the employment of over 1,100 employees and ensure the Barratts and Priceless brands continue, especially given the adversity which has beset the high street over recent months."

Despite this, 39 shops need to be closed, as well as 14 concessions. However, CoStar News reported that the 3,800 sq ft Barratts space at 297 Oxford Street in London has been bought by O2 Telefonica.

The premises is spread across two floors and underwent a £400,000 makeover in April 2010.

Four years remain on the Barratts lease, but the publication noted market sources suggest as much as £1 million has been paid for the West End base.

It is thought 680 redundancies will occur at the shoe retailer as a result of the closures.

The news follows the recent announcement that Telefonica is set to move into 51,000 sq ft of West End offices at the AirW1 project off the southern end of Regent Street.

A refit of the international telecommunication organisation's new digital division headquarters will begin next month on the fourth and fifth floors of the building.

AirW1 is part of The Crown Estate's Quadrant 3 redevelopment and Telefonica is planning to move around 400 employees into the new West End offices over the summer.

Matthew Key, chief executive officer and chairman of Telefonica Digital, commented that London was "a natural choice" for the establishment of the headquarters due to its prominent role in "the current digital revolution".

Posted by John Evans

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