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London number one for global luxury store openings in 2018

Tom Bottomley
28 March 2019

London has taken the top spot for global luxury store openings – accounting for 9.6% of all luxury store openings worldwide in 2018.

The Capital beat off competition from Dubai, Hong Kong, Paris and New York, despite the current challenges facing the UK retail market, according to new research from international real estate adviser Savills. It’s a significant jump up for London, which came in at fourth spot in 2017.

Savills research shows that the UK capital saw 33 luxury retailers open their doors last year, up 38% on 2017. It also reports that globally, luxury brands opened 16% fewer new stores in 2018 compared with the previous year.

The increase in openings across the capital follows the depreciation of sterling which resulted in increased international luxury retail spend in London in 2017, which in turn has gone on to support requirements and subsequent new openings in 2018.

Marie Hickey, retail research director at Savills, comments: “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.”

Behind London, Bangkok ranked second with a 6.7% share of openings, driven solely by the opening of ICONSIAM mall. Dubai and Hong Kong came joint third, with Dubai also being supported by increased store supply with the extension of Fashion Avenue. Paris and New York took the fourth and fifth spots.

Anthony Selwyn, head of London and international retail at Savills, comments: “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. For the UK market, it’s great to see London leading the way, and with the core cities predicted to be the main areas of interest for brands this year, the future looks positive for the capital.”

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