Estate Agent Today can reveal that Foxtons has closed another London agency office - this time at Barnes in the borough of Richmond on Thames.
Yesterday it was reported that the agency’s flagship Park Lane office was closing and instead its nearby Marylebone branch would handle prime central London business.
Now EAT has found that Barnes has also shut with enquirers by telephone being told by Foxtons staff that the Barnes office is closed and its business is now being handled by the firm’s Putney branch.
A statement from the company to EAT this morning says: “Foxtons has always used leading technology to support an efficient business and superior customer proposition. By investing in industry-leading technology we’re able to increase the reach of our branches, which is why our Barnes team has recently moved into our branch in Putney. Our business is built to serve customers better, and our technology means we bring together the right people with the right homes, wherever they are.”
The Barnes closure is believed to have happened some weeks ago but to have been unreported until now. The decision to open in Barnes was taken by Foxtons relatively recently in early 2015 - it was one of five branches opened at the time, with the others in Walthamstow, West Hampstead, Ruislip and Bromley.
In 2015 Foxtons chief executive Nic Budden commented: "We are very excited to take the next step in our expansion strategy with the launch of these new offices. With years of experience operating in these areas from our neighbouring offices, we now look forward to offering our unparalleled expertise and knowledge to the local communities”.
A rival agent operating in the Barnes area, who wishes to remain anonymous, told EAT that this closure was in some ways more telling than the Park Lane decision.
“In Park Lane the decision was strategic - rents would have been extremely high so it was logical to close and base activities in a nearby office. With Barnes, however, it was a bad decision to open and the branch always struggled for business. This closure is a sign of failure.”
The announcement about Park Lane did little to alter stock market investors’ views of Foxtons.
Its share price closed yesterday relatively unchanged from its opening price but analysis by Hargreaves Lansdown shows that the company has lost around 18 per cent of its value over the past year and over 77 per cent over the past three years.