Fashion brand Ted Baker is spending £58 million ($86.7 million) on buying “The Ugly Brown Building” — its London headquarters.
The fashion brand said on Thursday that it has agreed to purchase the freehold of the 78,920 sq. ft. property for £55.25 million ($82.6 million) plus costs of £3 million ($4.5 million).
Ted Baker pays £1.1 million ($1.65 million) rent a year on the building near King’s Cross, which used to be a Post Office sorting office, and the company says: “This opportunity provides the Company certainty over operating costs and removes the Company’s exposure to rising rent reviews.”
The Ugly Brown Building is indeed pretty ugly. But according to the company’s website “it’s got just as many quirky touches as any of our stores.”
Visitors to The Ugly Brown Building could be forgiven for thinking they are not wanted. An image of a giant lobster straddles the entrance and there is no indication at all that these are Ted Baker’s offices.
Once inside, visitors are confronted by the sound of a dog barking. They are then “greeted” by a virtual receptionist, staring down at them from a screen suspended above an unmanned desk.
Here’s how it looks on the outside:
The Ugly Brown Building has become an iconic building in a rapidly developing central London location and a very important ingredient of Ted Baker’s history and unique personality. We are delighted to have secured our future in this excellent location as Ted Baker continues to develop as a global lifestyle brand. We are confident that this will help us preserve our culture and to continue to attract and retain great talent. This is great news for our business, our brand, and our people.
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