London tops global rank for new luxury retail store openings, says Savills

20 February 2017

London topped the global ranking for new luxury retail store openings in 2016, according to Savills Global Luxury Retail report.  The city saw a total of 41 new luxury openings during the year, (of which 15 were the respective brand’s first ever store in London), compared to 36 in Paris and 31 in both New York and Dubai.

London has consistently been the most visited city in the world by international tourists, says Savills, making it an important luxury retail market as approximately a third of this type of spend takes place abroad*.  For European luxury brands, London is a useful stepping stone prior to expanding into the US, while for US brands it provides a gateway to Europe both geographically and in terms of brand profile.  A number of European and US luxury retailers opened new stores in the capital in 2016, including Moncler, de Grisogono and Valextra. 

Looking ahead, forecasts by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) suggest international tourist arrivals globally will double to almost 1.8 billion by 2030, aided by further growth of low cost air travel and a rapidly expanding and mobile middle class from emerging economies.  Europe will remain the largest tourist market with a projected market share of 41% by 2030 and its gateway cities, such as London, will be key target destinations for the increased tourist flow.

Destinations favoured by Chinese nationals, who acquire circa 40% of their luxury goods abroad, are highly attractive for luxury retailers.  London’s appeal for luxury brands has therefore been enhanced by its rising popularity among Chinese travellers, with visitor numbers increasing 69% in 2015, according to ONS.  The evolving future travel patterns of Chinese tourists will also play a major role in determining new and growth luxury retail destinations globally. 

The recent weakening in the Pound, which has provided an immediate discount for many overseas shoppers, has given luxury spend in London a further boost, says Savills. 

Marie Hickey, commercial research director at Savills, comments: “A significant proportion of luxury goods are now purchased outside a shopper’s home market, particularly those of Chinese consumers, reinforcing the importance of destination cities.  This was apparent in 2016, when all of the key established global retail destinations saw more than 20 luxury brand store openings.”

Anthony Selwyn, head of Central London retail at Savills, adds: “The role of a specific destination in brand building and enhancing the customer experience remains key, and the heritage of London and Paris saw these cities rank first and second for new luxury openings last year.  With international travel expected to double by 2030, appetite among luxury retailers to expand in key markets will remain strong, though we expect to see several of the emerging luxury markets gain more market share.”

*Data from Exane BNP and ContactLab.

 
 

General Enquiries

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Key Contacts

Anthony Selwyn

Anthony Selwyn

Director
Central London Retail

Savills Margaret Street

+44 (0) 20 7758 3880

 

Marie Hickey

Marie Hickey

Director
Commercial Research

Savills Margaret Street

+44 (0) 20 3320 8288