Tag Archives: london



June 21 / Design, Inspiration

Apple Store architecture around the world

The Apple Store has only been around since 2001, but in less than 20 years, they have revolutionised the retail experience, just as much as they have revolutionised consumer technology.

As a true disruptor, Apple didn’t enter the retail game by copy and pasting the format you see at Currys or John Lewis, but create an all new customer experience, led by design and layout, that has excelled in architecture ever since.

Let’s take a look at our top 5 Apple Stores around the world…

1. New York Apple Store (Fifth Avenue)

The classic Apple Store design that comes to mind is always the Fifth Avenue store in New York. With the cuboid glass structure and staircase leading to the underground store, it is timeless, and the original trendsetter for Apple retail.

Apple Store New York

Image credit: jessicakirsh / Shutterstock.com

2. Paris Apple Store (Carrousel du Louvre)

An Apple Store directly next to the Louvre in Paris, France, is the ultimate Apple design experience, and this store, seen in the background of the inverted pyramid is in the perfect company.

Apple Store Paris Louvre

Image credit: andersphoto / Shutterstock.com

3. London Apple Store (Regent Street)

The largest Apple Store in the world dominates Regent Street with its astonishing beauty. Inside is a glass staircase leading to a Genius bar, and glass bridge that can be seen from the ground floor.

Apple Store London

Image credit: chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com

4. Shanghai Apple Store

The Shanghai Apple Store builds on the design of the Fifth Avenue store in New York, this time with a cylindrical glass structure, with a beautiful spiral staircase leading customers to the underground store.

Apple Store Shanghai

Image credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

5. San Francisco Apple Store (of the future)

The future of Apple Store’s, led by Apple VP, Sir Jony Ive, once again disrupts the retail experience. Yes, when you thought Apple had already disrupted enough, they went ahead and did it again! To truly experience the beauty of this story, and the future of Apple Stores, we recommend watching a video tour:

Bonus: Watch Steve Jobs introduce the first ever Apple Store

Featured image credit: pisaphotography / Shutterstock.com

May 27 / Marketing, Property

How much of London property is owned by offshore companies?

It will come as no surprise that a lot of property in London is owned by persons and companies not from the UK. As the world’s leading financial city, it is a global entity, and will bring global investment as a result. But have you ever wondered how much of London property is owned by offshore companies, specifically?

Well, now we have the answer. As a result of the heightened interest in offshore companies, and frustration by the UK public of the tax haven benefits they receive, more news is coming out, this time focused on property in London.

Foreign-registered property inforgraphicIn a report by The Guardian, it is revealed that 40,000 properties are now owned by offshore companies. This is a 9% increase, in the last year, and shows no stopping due to the recent negative press. The heart of London, Westminster, is coming out on top, with 10% of property in the area owned by companies set up in tax havens.

This might get you wondering about the rest of the UK. While London is the beating heart of global opportunity, the whole of the UK is a property opportunity for investors. Take a look at this full breakdown of offshore owned property across the UK (infographic by The Guardian).

These are some big figures, and likely to shock a great deal of the general public. It showcases the real need for investors to consider PR not just following investments and for ongoing reputation management, but when choosing which investments to make.

If you need help with PR, reputation or crisis management, get in touch – our PR experts can help.

April 25 / Property

5 castles to buy beyond the wall. Because Winter isn’t really coming.

With property in London regularly reaching into the millions, at a time when a parking space could set you back £350,000, it could be worth making the move to the north and looking at castles.

Moving to Scotland could be a culture shock, but unlike in Game of Thrones where everyone is getting as south as possible (for good reason), winter isn’t coming – and a castle in the most northern part of the UK could be a wonderful investment.

Here are 5 beautiful castles for sale at the moment on savills.com, with one for sale at under £1 million – bargain! Just make sure you can afford the upkeep.

Earlshall Castle – Price on request

“One of the best-kept 16th-century houses in Scotland.”

Castles: Earlshall Castle

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Tower Of Lethendy – £4.6m

“The ultimate Scottish residence with private golf course.”

Castles: Tower Of Lethendy

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Hatton Castle – £4.5m

“The estate extends to some 848 acres of agricultural land and commercial and amenity woodland.”

Castles: Hatton Castle

 

Source

Cassillis Estate – £3.9m

“An imposing castle standing high above the River Doon steeped in history.”

Castles: Cassillis Estate

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Cats Castle – £675k

“A fine baronial castle with 2-bedroom self-contained wing.”

Castles: Cats Castle

Source

So after seeing such grand properties that wouldn’t look so out of place in Westeros, would you make the trip beyond the wall?

Commuter Homes
April 22 / Property

The Commuter Effect – London Property Prices

Recent research has calculated that it costs £3000 more to buy a house each minute you travel closer to London. This is a fairly staggering fact that incentivises commuters to live and travel from further afield.

The research found that an average house price within central London is £606,000, whereas it fell to £458,000 via a 30-minute train ride. These statistics show that there is a solid value proposition for buyers who work in London, looking to save on high living costs by living outside of the city and using public transport to commute.

However, this has generally been common sense for a few years now. No longer is it a brave new idea. This has also lead to a shift in property prices in areas surrounding London. So while house prices drop for each minute you travel away from London on a train, those house prices are also on the rise.

Places like Luton, Hertfordshire and Kent have seen prices rise by 12.2% in just the first 3 months of 2016 alone. Why many people have realised that it is cheaper for them to live away from their job, now all of a sudden property prices are rising to match. So while house prices are still lower than central London, the gap will surely diminish.

It's tough being a Commuter

Over time could we see the influx of commuters actually level out the prices in places with good transport links to match those of central London? That might be a bit of a stretch, but at the rate things are going at present, it may become not such a cut and dry financial situation. Don’t forget, the cost of train travel itself isn’t exactly cheap and you have to sacrifice personal space.

It’s not just popular towns either. House prices in rural areas are also shooting up. One housebuilder has recently been cashing in on people moving out of the centre. Company Countryside Properties has seen the price of homes built by them within a 50 miles radius of the capitol rise a massive 47% between October 2015 and March 2016.

For now, the gamble is paying off, but if you are buying to let or building new, you better act fast to make the most of the best commuter towns and areas.

Property Market
April 13 / Property

State of the UK Property Market: April 2016

The property market in the UK gets in the news headlines as often as Donald Trump does. Any slight movement will set off both local and national media alike, so it can be difficult to keep track of what exactly is going on.

For that very reason, we’ve pulled together a list of updates on the UK property market so you can simply skim through this blog and be caught up in minutes. Handy, huh?

London property market

The big smoke is a place where a parking space alone can go for £400,000. With an increasing population and shortage of housing, prices keep going up and up.

But that’s not always true. In fact, right now, property prices are falling in super-prime postcode areas (such as SW1). That’s not to say the rest of London is seeing the same decrease, as it turns out the suburban areas are in fact seeing a sharp increase in prices.

This is good news for buyers of luxury property, but if you only just recently invested in property in these areas then you may want to keep a close eye on how it pans out. Perhaps suburban is the way to go next.

First-time buyers

The age at which people are buying their first home is increasing, as people struggle to make the jump from rented to owned. The problem is the deposit and usual 10% minimum mortgages, but there is a saving grace – Help to Buy.

The scheme, along with changes to the way stamp duty is calculated, has delivered a positive impact on the housing market, with an increase in houses sold under the scheme, which allows for a 5% deposit, and in some cases a 20% loan from the government on top.

National house prices

Despite stronger sales for first-time buyers, it seems that the struggle may not be over just yet, as housing prices nationwide are up 10% year on year, with the average house price now 5.58 times earnings.

Cited as the reason for the increase is the lack of homes available, highlighting the problem reaches far beyond the capital. However, the latest budget did promise more homes to be built, so there may be light at the end of the tunnel, and a good opportunity for developers.

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