London has reclaimed the number one position as the most targeted market for international retailers, according to the 2012 edition of ‘How Global is the Business of Retail?’ by global property adviser CBRE. The annual survey, now in its fifth year, mapped the global footprint of 326 of the world’s top retailers across more than 200 cities to identify trends in global retail expansion at national and local levels. The report found that retailers expanded into a wide range of markets in 2011, with 74 per cent of the countries in the survey seeing at least one new retailer enter the market last year, with the overall global footprint of retailers growing 2.1 per cent, similar to the previous year, demonstrating that retailers continue to grow their cross-border businesses in spite of a challenging consumer environment.
Last year London shared top spot with Dubai, but this year the capital reclaimed the outright number one position after attracting 55.6 per cent of all international retail brands surveyed. This was helped by a mini-boom in 2011 as tourist spending boosted a relatively robust local economy, and according to CBRE the city remains a key hub for retailers looking to expand into Europe.
Peter Gold, Head of EMEA Cross Border Retail, CBRE, commented: “In the face of ongoing economic uncertainty, which looks set to remain a factor throughout 2012, retailers have responded by seeking to de-risk their expansion activities, generally choosing markets like the UK that are regarded as safe havens.
“London is generally the first port of call for global retailers, but once they have established a presence in the capital, they are willing to extend their reach into other major UK cities, as well as major regional shopping centres such as Trafford Park, Meadowhall and Bluewater.”
The survey still found that Dubai holds considerable global pulling power, it however dropped into second spot due to a number of retailers exiting the market. New York remains in third position, while Moscow moved up the rankings following a number of new market entrants in 2011 to share fourth place with Paris, and Hong Kong took the fifth spot. A big mover, rising to eight position from 12th place last year was Kuwait City, while the remainder of the top 20 comprised a mix of traditional and emerging markets.
When looking at the most targeted countries by global retailers, the UK holds onto the top spot in the rankings closely followed by the United Arab Emirates and the United States. Spain is in fourth position closely followed by China, while France and Germany came joint sixth. Making up the remainder of the top 10 were Russia, Italy and Saudi Arabia.