by Malcolm Curtis|The Local, Switzerland|February 7, 2013
A lack of space for luxury watch and jewellery shops is driving up rental costs on the most fashionable street in Switzerland.
Fashion boutiques are making way for high-end timepieces and jewels in what the Blick newspaper is calling a “bling alarm” on the Bahnhofstrasse, downtown Zurich’s trendy shopping precinct.
The Zurich high street is one of the most expensive retail patches in the world, behind only those in Hong Kong, London and New York, according to a report released on Wednesday by Swiss consultants Location Group.
The report highlights the impact of watch and jewellery shops on retail rents on the Bahnhofstrasse, which have tripled in the past 10 years, the report says.
Annual rents on the street are peaking at 13,850 francs per square metre, compared to 9,500 francs on Geneva’s Rue du Rhône, the second most costly place in Switzerland.
“Zurich is currently being overrun by jewellers,” Location Group said.
It said Bucherer, the Swiss watch and jewellery retailer and wholesaler, recently paid seven million francs in “key money” to take over a lease from French women’s fashion house Devernois to open a Rolex boutique on the Bahnhoffstrasse.
Jaeger Le Coultre and another unidentified watch brand are set to open shops on the street, following other openings by IWC and Omega.
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