International fashion brands dominate London's market

Thursday, 11 September 2014
International fashion labels account for nearly half of all the new store openings in London to date this year, according to research from Savills, global real estate services. Karl Lagerfeld, Lululemon, and Rag & Bone are amongst the international fashion retailers which opened a store in London this year.

Savills reports that there has been 12 new international retail entrants in the London Market this year, with an additional 11 set to open by the end of this year. “The influx of new international entrants and availability constraints in the core West End market has meant new entrants, particularly the top-end mid-market brands, have had to look beyond the core streets of Bond, Regent and Oxford,” commented Marie Hickey, director of research at Savills.

“While for some new entrants a flagship on Bond Street or Regent Street will be vital for others it will be about a location that fits with their brand identity, which may not necessarily be the key traditional pitches.” According to the report, 14 percent of the new fashion entrants in London since 2011 have been categorized as luxury, 72 percent as mid-market and 14 percent as mass markets.

In the mid-market category, brands such as J Crew have been the most active, accounting for 51 percent of the new fashion entrants. The mid-market fashion entrants were also found to be the most diverse when it came to the choice of location their first UK store, selecting retail units in a variety of locations such as Regent Street, Covent Garden, South Molton Street and Westbourne Grove.

“As demand for luxury goods has remained strong throughout the global recession, we have seen demand for Central London retail space continue however, on the value and high street end of the scale things are more competitive,” said Peter Thomas, director of retail at Savills.

“The London high street stores have strong customer loyalty and new brands must offer a point of difference to be successful in London. The brands that appreciate and understand the market are the ones that go on to expand throughout the UK and beyond, generally favoring large regional centers such as Manchester and Birmingham.”

The real estate firm predicts continued positive interest in London's high streets throughout 2015 as several international retailers have convey strong interest in entering the city's market.

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