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London named ‘top spot’ for new retail expansion in Europe

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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London continues to reinforce its global appeal by claiming top spot in Europe in CBRE’s annual retail report, How Global is the Business of Retail, which identifies new retail brand openings.

The report reveals that the UK capital saw 49 new retail entrants in 2017, placing it fourth globally behind Hong Kong, Dubai, and Taipei, with major brands including Canada Goose, Sonos, Reserved and Arket launching in London last year.

The UK also ranked third overall for new retail entrants, with only Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates attracting more, showing that even with the uncertainly surround Britain’s decision to leave the EU that the UK market is still an important target for retailers.

As well as fashion success across retail openings, the CBRE noted that food and beverage and luxury brands were the biggest drivers of new store openings in London, accounting for 33 of the new entrants, of which 40 percent came from Asia Pacific brands.

Globally, the food and beverage category accounted for 25 percent of new market entrants last year, up 17 percent from 2016, driven by the shifting consumer preference for experiential retailing which has been a key driver of expansion as landlords continue to diversify their tenant mix with more experience-orientated brands, said CBRE.

How Global is the Business of Retail report also notes that the physical store still remains part of retailers’ omnichannel strategies, and is “increasingly important” for retailer success in international markets, as of the 123 cities identified in the report, which had at least one new global retail brand open for the first time, 41 percent had targeting more than one city.

Michael Horwitz, head of central London retail at CBRE said in a press release: “The retail sector is witnessing a massive transformation due to the growth of e-commerce and a shift in consumer habits. However, the physical store remains a key element in retailers’ success.

“London’s innovative nature and access to international consumers creates an ideal environment for retailers looking to expand into the global market. We welcomed some great new brands in 2017, and are set to see some exciting entrants in the year ahead.”