London most popular city for international retailers

London is home to more international retail brands than any other city in the world, boosting its credentials as a global retail powerhouse.

A total of 31 international retailers opened stores in London for the first time last year, including US fashion retailer J Crew and luxury brand Tom Ford.

This means that 57pc of international brands – almost three in five – have a presence in London, according to a survey by property agent CBRE.

London claimed number one in the list ahead of Dubai, where 55.3pc of brands are present. New York was in third place ahead of Moscow, Shanghai, Paris and Hong Kong.

The survey highlights London’s status as a destination for international investment and the cosmopolitan nature of its major high streets and shopping centres, such as Regent Street and Westfield London.

Eric Eastman, executive director for luxury goods and international retailers at CBRE, said: “London now attracts more international visitors that any other capital in the world. A flood of brand-hungry overseas shoppers, many from China, has swept into Central London. Space demand from luxury and international retailers has moved into hyperdrive as a result.”

Mr Eastman said international brands are now looking to open outside London’s traditional retail heartlands, such as Covent Garden.

He added: “There are simply too many global brands now for the traditional pitches in London to absorb them, which is why we are starting to see lettings to Dior and Chanel in Covent Garden and Philip Lim and Carven in Brompton Cross.”

However, while London is the most popular destination overall, Paris is catching swiftly. The French capital attracted 50 new brands to its streets last year, more than any other city.

The most ambitious retailers were Michael Kors and Zara, which entered more new cities than other businesses. H&M, Hollister and Britain’s Superdry were also in the top ten.

US retailers accounted for one in four new entrants, with Italy claiming 16pc and UK chains the third most expansive, accounting for 12pc of new entrants.

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