London crowned top city for luxury store openings
Despite the economic uncertainty surrounding the UK over the last year, London saw more luxury store openings than any other city in the world, rising above Paris, Tokyo and Singapore.
London has taken the global top spot in a ranking from international real estate advisor Savills, after ranking fourth in 2017. The results are all the more impressive given the tough trading conditions facing retailers in the UK, causing countless store closures, CVAs and collapses from both high street and premium brands.
Underlining the resilience of London’s luxury market, the city accounted for 9.6% of all luxury store openings worldwide last year - more than any other city globally. 33 luxury retailers opened their doors, up 38% on 2017.
But while fashion brands continue to be the most active in terms of store openings, their share fell to 45%. Meanwhile, specialist accessories, footwear and eyewear brands increased their share from 20% to 24% and jewellery and watch brands kept their pace and accounted for 24% of store openings.
Savills suggested the increased activity was linked to the decline in the pound in 2017, which sparked an influx of tourists looking for cheaper luxury goods.
Globally, luxury brands opened 16% fewer new stores than in 2018. Behind London, Bangkok ranked second with a 6.7% share, followed by Dubai and Hong Kong in joint third place.
Marie Hickey, retail research director at Savills, commented: “In spite of the headwinds facing UK retail, the London luxury market is looking not only resilient but is also offering attractive opportunities for those brands who want to enter the market, as well as those looking to improve their physical presence with more high profile, experiential spaces. With a 38% increase in luxury store openings last year, the city became the most active destination globally for high end brands, up from joint fourth in 2017.”
Anthony Selwyn, head of London and international retail at Savills, added: “Last year we saw the big luxury brands retrench to the core cities and we expect these global destinations to remain the key focus for luxury brands wanting to expand or improve their physical profile in 2019.”
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