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Insight: London takes top spot for worldwide luxury store openings

London took the top spot for luxury store openings worldwide in 2018, according to new research.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Insight: London takes top spot for worldwide luxury store openings

London took the top spot for luxury store openings worldwide in 2018, according to new research.

The study by real estate advisor Savills found that London became the most active city for luxury retailers last year, after coming in fourth place in the ranking in 2017. It also revealed that the UK capital accounted for 9.6% of all luxury store openings worldwide, more than any other city globally, despite the UK’s existing economic uncertainty.

Savills’ research shows that London saw 33 luxury retailers open stores inthe city last year to mark an uplift 38% on 2017. While luxury fashion brands accounted for 45% of store openings, which was down on 2017, specialist accessory brands increased their share from 20% to 24%. In addition, specialist jewellery and watch brands accounted for 24% of store openings.

Marie Hickey, retail research director at Savills, said: “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."  

This increase in luxury openings in London follows the depreciation of sterling which resulted in an uplift in international luxury retail spend in London in 2017.

Looking at the global picture, Savills said luxury brands opened 16% fewer new stores last year compared with 2017. Brands opened new stores in 85 cities last year, down from 118 in the prior year.

While London took the top spot, Bangkok came in second place with a 6.7% share of openings. This was followed by Dubai and Hong Kong in joint third place, and Paris and New York in fourth and fifth place respectively.

Anthony Selwyn, head of London and international retail at Savills, said: “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 the capital.”

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