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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Countrywide agency office shuts - a sign of 'brand rationalisation' to come?

Countrywide has closed an office of one of its best-known London brands, Faron Sutaria, and is merging its activities with a nearby branch of John D Wood, another Countrywide brand.

The office is in Chiswick, west London - where Jamie Lester’s Haus Properties has closed one of its branches, too.

Faron Sutaria had a separate Chiswick office under its own brand for 20 years, long before becoming part of Countrywide. However, other Countrywide brands also have branches in the Chiswick area now, including Hamptons and John D Wood. 

A formal statement to Estate Agent Today from Countrywide hints that this is not the only such change.

“We regularly review our operating model to identify ways for our people to deliver a better service and drive long-term value by aligning our portfolio to growth” says Graham Bell, managing director of Countrywide’s London division.

“We are making some organisational changes across a small number of branches which will involve strategic branch consolidations, rebrands and closures. These changes enable us to have the right brand in the right location to service customers across all price points” he says.

Bell says the aim is “to create bigger, better and busier branches that are open for longer with a wider range of services for our customers, and an improved working environment for our people.”

Last week Countrywide’s interim figures showed that it had increased its share of London transactions by two per cent, during a time when the capital’s sales transactions have been hit by high stamp duty and Brexit uncertainty.

However, both Countrywide and Foxtons reported sharp profit losses last week; another group with substantial exposure to London - LSL Property Services - has already given a profits warning ahead of its half-year figures being released this week.

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