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Amsterdam and Warsaw are ‘gateway’ cities for international expansion

Amsterdam, Barcelona and Warsaw offer big opportunities for expanding international brands, a new report from property firm Savills has found.

London and Paris are ranked first and second place in Savills’ European Retail Destination Index but Amsterdam, Barcelona and Warsaw performed strongly relative to their size and offer, said Savills.

The Index examines how many standalone stores the top 10 global fashion brands and groups have in each city in relation to population to create an “opportunity score”, which is then compared with total annual retail sales and total occupational cost. Based on this approach, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Warsaw have lower total retail sales than Milan or Munch, but lower occupancy costs and a high opportunity score, which Savills said implies greater profitability.

Warsaw and Amsterdam are also expected to have strong sales increases in the next five years – of 3.8% and 1.8% per year respectively – and Warsaw is forecast to have the fastest growth of the 11 European cities examined. Barcelona, meanwhile, is the largest European destination for international tourism spend after London and Paris.

Marie Hickey, director of Savills research, said smaller European “gateway” cities such as these will prove attractive to midmarket and aspirational retailers, particularly those where arrivals of high-spending international tourists are increasing.



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