Just over 55 per cent of all international retailers have a presence in London, according to the CBRE’s How Global is the Business of Retail? report. This puts it ahead of second-placed Dubai, and New York and Moscow, which share third place.
Eric Eastman, executive director, luxury goods & international retailers for CBRE, says, ‘London now attracts more international visitors than any other capital in the world. A flood of brand-hungry overseas shoppers, many from China, has swept into central London. Space demand from luxury and international retailers has moved into hyperdrive as a result.
There are simply too many global brands now for traditional pitches in London to absorb them, which is why we are starting to see lettings to Dior and Chanel in Covent Garden and Philip Lim and Carven in Brompton Cross.’
The UK as a whole is the country with the most international retailers in the world, with 57.5 per cent having a presence.
The report also shows that 31 new international retailers entered the UK high street last year, including J.Crew, Isabel Marant and Tom Ford, which opened their first standalone stores.
The report says, ‘Despite high rental levels, a fiercely competitive market and a lack of available prime space, London continues to attract retailers from around the world.
‘Retailers benefited from an increase in overseas visitors in 2012 – the year of the Olympics – and this legacy remains, with a record 8 million visitors in the first half of 2013.’
Jose Luis Martin, EMEA senior director of cross border retail, CBRE, says, ‘The growth of the online environment the importance of the brand – not just among luxury retailers, but across the retail spectrum with consumers seeking out aspirational brands as well as high street and value offerings, and this is driving demand for new stores.’