London topped the global ranking for new luxury retail store openings in 2016, according to Savills’ Global Luxury Retail report. The capital 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.
Destinations favoured by Chinese nationals, who acquire circa 40 per cent 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 per cent 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.
Marie Hickey, commercial research director at Savills, said: “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.”