London has taken the global top spot for luxury store openings in 2018,
according to research from international real estate advisor Savills.
According to the firm, London accounted for 9.6 percent of all luxury
store openings worldwide last year, as the luxury market continues to
persevere amid the country’s existing economic uncertainty. After ranking
fourth in 2017, London pushed its way to the top of the list this year,
beating Bangkok (7.7 percent), Dubai (6.7 percent), Hong Kong (6.4
percent), Paris (4.7 percent) and New York (4.4 percent), which took the next
The research showed that the UK capital saw 33 luxury retailers open
their doors last year, up 38 percent from 2017. While luxury fashion brands
continued to dominate, accounting for 45 percent of store openings, this
number was down on 2017, as specialist accessory brands, focused on bags,
footwear and eyewear, increased their share from 20 percent to 24 percent.
Specialist jewellery and watch brands also continued to account for a
sizeable number of store openings, at 24 percent.
Savills noted that this increase in openings follows the depreciation of
sterling, resulting in increased international luxury retail spend in
London in 2017, which in turn has gone on to support requirements and
subsequent new openings in 2018.
Globally, luxury brands opened 16 percent fewer new stores in 2018
compared with the year before, with brands opening new stores in 85 cities
last year, down from 118 in 2017 – a number that Savills says “suggests
that brands are refocusing on core, strategic and often underrepresented
Marie Hickey, retail research director at Savills, commented in the
report: “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,
Anthony Selwyn, head of London and international retail at Savills,
added: “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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