Retail revival: The Royal Exchange

Experience a sanitised shopping sanctuary in the heart of the City as London begins navigating the new normal

Style 15 Jun 2020

The Royal Exchange reopens today

The Royal Exchange in the City of London reopens today

The City of London has been uncharacteristically quiet for nearly three months now, but that’s set to change this week with the further easing of lockdown and the reopening of more shops and businesses. Leading the way – as we navigate the new normal of life in the capital – is The Royal Exchange, which lies at the heart of the City where Cornhill and Threadneedle Street meet outside Bank station.

Usually a thriving thoroughfare for workers, residents and tourists, The Royal Exchange has existed as a hub of the City for more than 450 years. A symbol of resilience, the building was destroyed by fire and rebuilt twice before narrowly avoiding the bomb attacks of the Second World War blitz.

The spectacular Central Courtyard of The Royal Exchange
The spectacular Central Courtyard of The Royal Exchange

Today, The Royal Exchange is home to an enticing collection of international brands, independent boutiques, coffee shops and The Fortnum’s Bar & Restaurant. From artisan chocolates and gourmet groceries to perfumes, leather goods, stationery, fine jewellery and luxury timepieces, the refined goods of The Royal Exchange, along with its grand architecture and historic ambience attract a whole host of City people.

Putting the welfare of its employees and visitors first and foremost, The Royal Exchange will be operating a one-way system to enter and exit its central courtyard, with security monitoring controlled access to ensure social distancing can be easily adhered to inside.

The building has also been sprayed with Bioprotect, a water-based electrostatic mist that uses antimicrobial technology to make surfaces non-receptive to microbes for up to 90 days. Swabs of surfaces will be taken every 30 days to check the treatment is still active. Hand sanitiser will also be provided at the entrance.

For people craving a bit of normality and a long-awaited dose of real-life retail therapy, The Royal Exchange offers a sanitised sanctuary for a spot of long-awaited retail therapy.

In line with government guidelines, The Fortnum’s Bar & Restaurant will remain closed for the time being. For further information about visiting The Royal Exchange and the opening dates and times for its individual boutiques, visit