According to research from international real estate advisor Savills, the simplification of the visa process for Chinese visitors to the UK could see spend by this consumer group more than double by 2020 to close to £500 million (approx. € 606 million) per annum.
Marie Hickey, associate director of research at Savills, comments: “The Chinese are now the biggest spending travellers globally and with initiatives in place to make visiting the UK easier, the retail sector should see a positive impact over the forthcoming years, with London set to benefit the most.”
Savills anticipates that the rise in Chinese shoppers could increase their expenditure in London by 141% over the next six years. Total overseas spend in the Capital is expected to expand by 47% over the same period.
The report states that 55 international brands opened their first UK stores in London over the past three years. With larger numbers of Chinese visitors expected, the firm predicts this should increase the demand for new entrants into Central London, hoping to ‘test-the-waters’ before entering Asian markets.
Anthony Selwyn, head of Central London retail, comments: “London’s rising prominence as a global retail destination means that we expect occupational demand to intensify putting upward pressure on rents on all key pitches in the West End particularly on the luxury pitches. Over the next 18 months we expect Bond Street prime Zone A rents to exceed £1,500 per sq ft – 15% up on where they are now with Brompton Road likely to see the greatest uplift in the region of 20%.”