Beatles' former London HQ planned as Abercrombie store

, Bloomberg

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TheBeatles

The Beatles' former London headquarters, where the band performed for the last time on the rooftop, may become an Abercrombie & Fitch Co. store after planning authorities recommended the proposal, following objections from retailers in the area.

The U.S. company intends to open a children's outlet at 3 Savile Row, which is listed as a historic preservation site, according to documents sent to the Westminster borough council ahead of a vote next week.

The building housed the offices of the Beatles' Apple Records label when the final 1969 performance was filmed for the movie "Let It Be." Abercrombie, whose stores for teens and adults are known for their nightclub vibe with loud pop music, shirtless employees and subdued lighting, should not be allowed to have models stand at the entrances, planners recommended. Customers should be asked not to leave buggies and baby carriages on the street.

The building's leasehold is owned by AFH Stores U.K. Ltd., according to a filing to the Land Registry. Apple Records sold the property in 1980, a document filed with the planning application showed. Abercrombie opened its first London store at 7 Burlington Gardens around the corner from Savile Row in 2007.

Officials at Abercrombie & Fitch weren't immediately available for comment.

The plan to open at 3 Savile Row sparked protest among retailers including the Savile Row Bespoke Association, which seeks to preserve the area's character as a center for upmarket men's tailoring.

The council received objections stating the store would have "an unacceptable impact on the character and function of Savile Row, inappropriate congregation of crowds on the street outside, increased footfall will lead to safety issues on the highway, and potential noise and disturbance to surrounding properties," according to the documents.

"It is necessary to provide specific protection for the unique clusters of specialist uses, which are central to London's character, and ensure these clusters are not eroded by pressure from other commercial uses," Mark Henderson, chairman of Savile Row tailor Gieves and Hawkes, said by email.

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