Jones Lang LaSalle has analyzed the presence of 150 leading international retailers within 55 European markets and created an index of the top 10 most attractive cross-border retail destinations in Europe.
The index reveals that London attracts the greatest number of international retailers, whilst the US ranks number one as the biggest exporter of retail formats. Against the backdrop of a volatile economic climate, retailers' expansion strategies have sight on the longer term and targeted expansion is still underway.
James Dolphin, Head of pan-EMEA Retail Agency at Jones Lang LaSalle, said: "The European economy - and the retail industry specifically - is facing huge headwinds. Retailer appetite for the best space across Europe, however, remains strong. Many top-tier retailers will accept flagship space in iconic locations and nothing less. This is maintaining or, in some instances, putting upward pressure on rents in super-prime locations, while more secondary locations are seeing higher vacancies and reduced demand for space."
According to Jones Lang LaSalle's Cross Border Retailer Attractiveness Index, the top 10 most attractive cross-border retail destinations in Europe are:
7. =Munich, Istanbul, Barcelona
James Brown, Head of EMEA Retail Research at Jones Lang LaSalle continued: "This polarization of the retail market, which is occurring both at a national level and within city markets, is being exacerbated by the constrained shopping center development pipeline, particularly in more mature Western markets. The supply of truly modern space that is suitable for top tier retailers remains tight in most markets.
"New city schemes that have opened, such as Westfield Stratford in London and Marmara Forum in Istanbul, have proved to be hugely attractive, both to new and existing brands, and consequently to the end consumer. These schemes have also been responsible for 'importing' new international brands into their respective markets."
James Dolphin continued: "The constrained pipeline is also contributing to cross-border retailer expansion, as Western retailers look outside their home markets for more space and greater sales potential. European retailers such as Desigual, Inditex, Fast Retailing, Bestseller, H&M, G-Star and Superdry have all been in expansive mode over the last 12 months, whilst the USA is now the dominant exporter of retailers, accounting for almost 20% of all international retailer presence.
"Long-established brands such as Starbucks, Timberland and Gap account for a significant proportion of this presence; it is, however, the likes of Forever 21, Hollister, Apple, Disney and Abercrombie & Fitch which have led the Americans almost by 'stealth' to pole position. The UK is the second most popular origin of international retailers, followed by Germany, Spain and France."
The top 10 largest exporters of retail formats across Europe are:
2. United Kingdom
James Brown concluded: "Interestingly, we have identified certain European cities which have both strong market fundamentals and currently, a relatively low international retailer presence. In particular, the Scandinavian markets of Oslo, Helsinki, Gothenburg and Malmo, in addition to some UK, French and German regional cities. These will no doubt begin to feature on the radar for retailers seeking further international expansion."
Source: Jones Lang LaSalle