This blog post is on the Feng Shui Buildings in London. It is a discussion of whether these buildings are receiving good Energy by fortuitous location and design or designed with the aid of a Feng Shui Consultant. This post is using the principles of Feng Shui to explain the success of the business in the buildings.
I have seen and analysed many buildings in London. This is only a summary of my observations. I have selected the interesting ones for further discussion.
There are 4 sections in this blog post:
What is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese science of land management that uses the forces of Energy that surround us in the Environment to enhance the well-being of people in the buildings or homes.
The central tenet of Feng Shui is the flow of Energy in the Environment. The key to successful Feng Shui is for the city or property is to accumulate this Energy with the minimum of loss.
Feng Shui can be a very effective tool for helping people to create a harmonious working and living environment. This can also bring about other changes for the better as a consequence. It helps develop wealth, health and happiness. Feng Shui is not magic, neither is it spiritual nor religious. It is the understanding of the movement of Energy on the surface of the Earth.Feng Shui Buildings:
A. Feng Shui Buildings
Apple Regent Street
Why is it the World’s busiest Apple Store?
The Apple brand attracts a loyal and faithful group of followers. This large group of followers will support and defend all the actions of the Apple brand irrespective. It is these followers that buy the products. Also, there is a growing number of people, like me, who are realising that there is a whole new world out there, far more interesting to the standardised world of the PC – iPhone, iPad and Mac.
As you would therefore expect, these followers and an increasing number of new “purchasers” would be going to these Apple store to satisfy their demand for the Apple products. In theory, the Apple stores would all be filled with both Apple followers and prospects.
Performance wise, Apple Regent Street is head and shoulders above the other Apple Stores in the world. It is also one of the most profitable stores in London. It sells more per square foot (sales at £2,000 per sq ft) than any other shop in London, way above that of Harrods (£751 per sq ft) or Top Shop (Oxford Circus at about £1,000 per sq ft) (figures are from 2010).
Feng Shui Analysis:
The store in on the “Sweet Spot” of Regent Street. It is on the slight bend where it is able to receive the more Energy. This Energy originates from Regents Park and comes down Portland Place and Regent Street. The Energy is shown with a red arrow in the Google Earth Image above.
The Energy goes into the store directly at an angle because of the slight tilt. Once in the store, the Energy is forced to move in a circular manner, in a clockwise direction.
The ground floor salesroom is open plan with trees. There are no obstructions like solid walls. There are benches displaying the Apply hardware products.
In the Northern Hemisphere, people are comfortable when the Energy is moving in an anti-clockwise direction. This can be seen when water flows down a plug hole. In the northern hemisphere, water flows down a plug hole in an anti-clockwise direction. This is known as the Coriolis Effect. Whereas people in the Southern Hemisphere are comfortable when the energy flows in a clockwise direction. Video demonstrations of the Coriolis Effect in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.
Therefore, when the Energy moves in a “Clockwise” direction in the Northern Hemisphere, people get uncomfortable. Likewise in the Southern hemisphere, people are uncomfortable when the Energy flows in a anti-clockwise direction.
So, what is the significance of the Energy moving in a circular manner in the sales process?
It causes confusion to customers. We have seen the confused atmosphere in “End of Season Sales” or “Black Friday” sales. People are rushing around in the crowds to get the “bargains”. In this confused environment, people are not thinking logically and are making impulse purchases. The net result, people buy more.
In the case of Apple, it is different. Apple uses the consultative selling process. I have noticed, even when you specify a product, the salesman will always suggest an alternative, more often than not, an “upsell”. After deciding on the exact specification, then the add-on sale starts, additional warranty, one-2-one, mobile-me services. A number of these products are only available at the time of the purchase. Of course, suggestions are made of the accessories to go with the Apple product. It is all carefully crafted.
What does it mean? The environment is such that the purchaser is mentally confused and he is looking for a “hitching” post. Conveniently, a salesman is there to offer advice and sales. Guess what, it helps in the sales process. You feel good about the purchase. No feeling of buyer’s remorse.
In the Regent Street store, it is always so crowded with people that there is a “confused” atmosphere. These two factors contribute to the “confused” environment which assists in the Sales process.
The environment benefits Apple. Together with the consultative sales process, this adds to the sales process. It works very well especially and this is shown in the results.
A good quantity of Energy passes down Regent Street. The Apple Store is on a slight bend and collects even more Energy.
Secondly, it is using the available Energy inside the building to flow in a clockwise direction which helps to create a “confused” environment. Together with the crowds of people and the use of consultative selling, customers buy more.
Apple Regent Street as a Feng Shui Building.
- The Apple Brand draws in the people who are eager to buy.
- The Energy getting into the building and circulating.
- The “confused” environment within the store.
- The appropriate selling methods used by the good well trained Apple staff.
Knightsbridge is home to many high end luxury shops, including the department stores like Harrods and Harvey Nichols, and flagship stores of many British and international fashion houses, including a London-based shoe designer Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, and two Prada stores. The district also has private banks that cater specifically to wealthy individuals.
Perhaps, the most well known name is Harrods, an icon and probably the world’s most famous luxury departmental store. It has more than a million square feet of retail space and is located on Brompton Road. Brompton Road which starts near Hyde Park, brings the Energy from the Park past Harrods.
Feng Shui Analysis: The Energy from Hyde Park flows down Brompton Road in the South Westerly direction.
There are two main observations on the position of Harrods on Brompton Road.
- The North East End is on the Junction of Brompton Road and Hans Crescent. The Energy coming down Brompton Road spreads down into Hans Crescent and to Harrods side Entrances. This allows these Entrances to receive even more Energy. A particular entrance on Hans Crescent has the highest entrance footfall.
- The Harrods building is on a slight bend and a slight angle to the buildings on either side. This enables Harrods to receive more Energy through its front Doors. (This is similar to Apple Regent Street). Harrods does not have an open plan as in the Apple Store and is highly compartmentalised with solid walls.
Harrods, in 2016, has a Sales Density of £1,200 per sq foot (2016). This has become the Benchmark for retail sales. If you multiply the sales density with the 1 million sq ft, you get a sales figure of £1.2 billion. This figure is certainly impressive.
Harrods as a Feng Shui Building: It is on a bend on Brompton Road and it gets more Energy directly. Secondly, there is an Energy Gap at Hans Crescent which allows more Energy to get into the Harrods side Entrances.
Tiffany on Old Bond Street.
Tiffany in a Hot Spot
Every time I walk along the streets of London, I am always in search of unusual aspects of the environment. On this occasion, I observed the presence of a “feng shui Hot Spot”. This implies that the environment is conducive to strong build up of Energy. There will be good business around this area.
A previous occasion, I commented previously on the Apple Regent Street and Harrods doing exceptional good business. This store, Tiffany, is also located in a Hot Spot.
Feng Shui Analysis: The Energy flow is shown as red arrows, flowing down New Bond Street towards Old Bond Street in a North to South Direction.
In front of Tiffany, there is a building which protrudes out onto the road. This behaves like a restriction on the Energy flow. Hence, there will be a build up of Energy in front of Tiffany.
Then, there is an oncoming road (Burlington Gardens) to Tiffany in an Easterly direction. This road brings even more Energy.
There is such a build up of Energy in this small area and it so happens that Tiffany is there. Tiffany should do extremely well in the business and in relationships. The senior management will always want better performance of their staff.
From what I have heard about the Old Bond Street store, it is doing extremely well. It is the second largest after the New York Store.
Tiffany as a Feng Shui Building: The Tiffany building faces a Junction. Two roads have Energy flowing down to the Junction BUT, the 3rd road is narrow and becomes a restriction. This forces the Energy to go into Tiffany building.
B. Feng Shui Buildings: Cafes and Coffee Shops
Hard Rock Café
Founded in 1971 by 2 Americans (Peter Morton and Isaac Tigrett) who wanted to provide London with a good American burger in an American Style diner. They covered the walls with rock and roll memorabilia. Doubts were expressed initially that the café would not last more than 6 months but, there were always queues at the restaurant. The café has become a world-wide phenomenon with more than 191 locations in 59 countries.
Feng Shui Analysis: Hard Rock Café is getting the Energy from 2 sources. It is located on Piccadilly (street) which starts at the nearby Hyde Park Corner. The Energy comes from Hyde Park and flows down Piccadilly. The second source of Energy is Green Park which is directly in front of the café.
The Hard Rock Café is at a junction of 2 roads. The main road being Piccadilly and the side road “Old Park Lane”. There are many successful café and coffee shops at road junctions. This is known as the coffee shop “hot spot”.
Hard Rock Café as a Feng Shui Building: The original Hard Rock Café is on a street with lots of Energy flowing past. The Energy sources being Hyde Park and Green Park. It is also located at the ideal position for cafés or coffee shops – at a road junction.
Starbucks was founded in Seattle, Washington state in 1971. In November 2016, it has about 24,000 locations around the world.
One characteristic of the early Starbucks coffee shops was their location. It was at road junctions (Street Intersections). In some cities in the US, there can be 2 to 3 Starbucks coffee shops in a road junction.
Feng Shui Analysis: In the Malaysia and Singapore, Coffee Shops are commonly located in road junctions. It is the mixture of the energies from the 2 roads that are compatible for fast food restaurants or coffee shops. Starbucks and Hard Rock Café are using this mixture of Energies to help them succeed in their business.
Starbucks as a Feng Shui Building: Many Starbucks Coffee Shops are located by Road Junctions. The Energy from Road Junctions is ideal for Cafés and Coffee shops.
C. Feng Shui Buildings: Retail Centres
There are 3 arcades in London’s West End – Burlington Arcade, Princes Arcade and Piccadilly Arcade. The only one that is busy is Burlington Arcade. The Arcade is a covered mall of small exclusive shops. It was opened in 1819 as a safe place for shopping and they are policed by Burlington Beadles. The Beadles are the smallest and oldest police force in the World. It pre-dates London’s Metropolitan Police.
Feng Shui Analysis: The Entrance faces Cork Street directly. Therefore, the Energy from Cork Street goes directly into the Arcade. The other 2 Arcades are not positioned at Street Junctions or Energy Gaps and therefore, do not have a ready source of Energy to go down. As a result, they are not busy with shoppers.
Burlington Arcade as a Feng Shui Building: One of the main entrances of the Arcade gets the Energy directly from Cork Street. Cork Street is directly in front of the Arcade Entrance.
Bluewater Shopping Centre
In the 1990s, the property company Landlease developed the Bluewater Shopping Centre in a disused Chalk Quarry. The quarry had provided limestone for builders in London. The quarry pit is between 10 to 20 metres below the surface of the neighbouring land.
The shopping complex opened its doors in March 1999. There were reports of queues at the start of the operation of the Shopping complex. This is a remarkably successful shopping centre ever since it opened. Even recently, Christmas shoppers stuck for up to six hours in Bluewater car park queues in 2015.
Feng Shui Analysis: There is a 180 year cycle made up of nine 20 year periods. In each 20 year period, the Energy from the 8 different compass directions changes their properties.
Period Year Direction
|5||1944-1963||South East/North West|
Let us examine this further using the table above. Period 8 is between the years 2004 to 2023. The direction of this predominant Energy is from the North East. The properties of this Energy is different to other times, it becomes “supercharged”. Buildings or areas that receive this predominant Energy during this time period become prosperous.
The Entrance to Bluewater Shopping Centre is to the North East of the quarry pit. When the Shopping Centre was opened in 1999, the Energy from the North East was becoming predominant. The North East Energy comes down the entrance road and is held in the quarry pit. This predominant Energy, trapped in the Quarry pit, enhances the shopping centre.
Currently, the Shopping Centre is filled with the predominant Energy from the North East. This Shopping Centre is predicted to do well. Every time I visit the shopping centre, it is crowded.
Bluewater Shopping Centre as a Feng Shui Building: Bluewater Shopping Centre is in the most unlikely of places, in a disused chalk quarry pit which is about 10 to 20 m below the surface of the neighbouring land. However, the Entrance to the Shopping Centre is in the North East Direction which is timely for the Period of the Predominant Energy. The Predominant Energy from the North East is between 2004 and 2023 AD.
D. Feng Shui Buildings: Corporate Moves
In a previous blog post, the Energy filled “8 Productive businesses” areas of London were described. This is the “heart” of the businesses in London.
In this section, two Corporates who were market leaders in their respective business sectors. They had their head office within the area for about 100 years. They then relocated outside this “Productive” area. What happened? Are they still market leaders or struggling?
Another business located their new head office within this “Productive” area. However, the previous tenant of this particular building vacated because of a business “failure”. Did the business prosper?
Marks and Spencer:
Marks & Spencer is a household brand selling clothing, home and food products. It had its head office in Baker Street for more than 100 years. In 2004, the head office moved to Paddington Basin.
Marks & Spencer dominated the clothing market for decades, particularly women’s attire and lingerie. Now, it is just one of many in the UK clothing market but it is doing well in food products. The profits at Marks & Spencer peaked in 1998 with over a billion pounds. It has not recovered since with a consistent performance. It has changed its CEO and turnaround plans regularly. After more than two decades, it is still struggling to recover.
Baker Street is one on the main conduits of Energy from Regents Park. Therefore, this building would be filled with Energy picked up from the street. Based on this Feng Shui interpretation, this Energy helped Marks & Spencer to achieve market dominance in the 20th Century.
The new Head office at Paddington Basin is in a very quiet area. The building does not receive much Energy. Paddington Basin is the terminus of the Grand Junction Canal where the Energy is stagnant.
Feng Shui Analysis: Marks & Spencer in their current location will take a long time to recover to its previous status in the UK market.
Observation: The left side of the building is larger than the right side. The left side denotes male and the right side denotes female. These signs indicate that the company would focus less on the female and more on the male. Marks & Spencer is now only a player in the competitive women’s clothing market. However, it is doing particularly well in the luxury sector of food products.
Abbey National Bank (now Santander Bank)
Abbey National Building Society was one of the pillars in the home lending market in the late 19th and 20th Century. It had its head office in Baker Street. It was demutualised to become a Bank in 1989 and was taken over by Santander in 2004.
Abbey National moved to the Baker Street Office in 1932. As stated earlier, Baker Street is a conduit of Energy and therefore, the building would be filled with Energy. From the Feng Shui perspective, the Energy helped Abbey National Building Society to become the second largest mortgage provider in the UK.
In 2002, they moved to a new Head Office building on the Euston Road. There is hardly any Energy in this location. The bank was involved in wholesale loans but the market collapsed with the Enron scandal and 11 September 2001 attacks. This affected the bank seriously. In 2004, the bank was taken over by Santander of Spain.
Feng Shui Analysis: Abbey Bank relocated to their new head office in Euston from Baker Street. This site has hardly any Energy flowing to the building.
Observation: There is a “coffin” like structure on the left side of the Entrance. That could symbolise death. There was a suicide within the building in 2004 and the bank was taken over.
Formerly known as British Petroleum, is one of the world’s seven oil and gas “supermajors”. It is the 6th largest by market capitalization.
BP Global Head Office moved to St James’s Square in London’s West End in the summer of 2002. It is a modern office building and Ericsson mobile telecommunications was the previous tenant. It is at the corner of St James’s Square and Charles II Street.
Since BP moved to their new head office at St James’s Square, within 7 years, a number of major accidents occurred.
2005 Texas City Refinery explosion 15 deaths, 180 injured – “one of the deadliest U.S. industrial accidents in 20 years.”. It was fined by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration $50 million and $87 million, State of Texas $50 million for violating state emissions. It has paid $1.6 billion to compensate victims.
2006 Prudhoe Bay oil spill – $25 million civil penalty, the largest per-barrel penalty at that time for an oil spill,
2007 Texas City toxic substance release
2008 Caspian Sea gas leak and blowout
2010 Texas City Chemical Spill
2010 Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill 11 deaths and the cost £54 billion.
Between the 1960s and 1990s (40 years), BP had 2 major incidents
1965 – Sea Gem offshore rig disaster
1993-1995 – Hazardous substance dumping (Alaska)
There is a big difference in the number of incidents in the early 2000s and the 1960-1990 eras.
Observation and Analysis
This new Head Office in St James’s misses the flow of Energy. Therefore, very little Energy gets into the building and it will suffer “misfortune”. This misfortune could be interpreted as, persistent problems and then problems get magnified. This leads to loss of business which leads to a smaller business or a merger or a takeover.
The previous tenant of the building – Ericsson mobile communications downsized to smaller offices and merged their mobile phone operations with Sony to form the Sony Ericsson brand.
Feng Shui Analysis:
The Energy comes into St James’s Square through 2 roads
– Duke of York Street (north side of the square)
– Charles II Street (east side of the square).
Most of the Energy flows through Duke of York Street to the Square. This Energy continues southwards through the central park area and leaves at the junction of St James Square and Pall Mall.
Conclusion: For a Corporate to select a new HQ, it is not just a simple matter of selecting a new building. The right selection can improve the performance of the company. However, a poor selection of the building, can impair or even close the company.
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