As the police investigation continues following Monday’s incident - the third on the high-end designer shop in the space of nine months - nearby businesses spoke of their shock.
Sally Grogan, deputy manager at the White Stuff store, said: “It seems in Leeds it is happening more and more and as a business it does worry you. It doesn’t just affect independent businesses, this feels like your own store and you want to protect it as much as possible. More bollards would be good and they fit quite well for the area.”
Hugo Boss on the opposite side of Vicar Lane to Flannels has had bollards in front of the shop windows for several years and staff say these security measures have acted as a deterrent for the shop being targeted in a similar way.
A spokesperson said: “They are a simple solution because with Flannels it has been a car through the window every time.
“There must be a reason why they don’t have them, maybe there is not enough room but it would have happened here if we didn’t have them.”
A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident, where a black Nissan Qashqai was reversed into the window. Police say the suspects fled in a black BMW 4x4 and a red Mercedes hatchback. Tens of thousands of pounds worth of designer clothing was stolen.
Flannels was also targeted in June this year and December 2017. The Rolex shop on Commercial Street had an attempted raid in February and Louis Vuitton at Briggate was ram-raided twice in April.
Leeds City Council says it has to balance bollards with access for day to day life but is commited to working with private businesses on security concerns. A spokesperson added: “This has included discussing with representatives of this business what preventative measures they can take from a store perspective.”