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London tops list for luxury store openings in 2016

London was the top location for luxury store openings last year, amounting to 41 during the year.

This compared to 36 luxury store openings in Paris, while New York and Dubai both had 31, according to Savills’ Global Luxury Retail report.

The property agency said the UK capital is an important luxury retail market thanks to the high level of international tourists and that it is a useful stepping stone for European brands prior to expanding in the US, as well as acting as a gateway for US brands into Europe.

New York-based brand Thom Browne is among the luxury retailers set to make its debut in the UK with a new store on Mayfair’s Albemarle Street this  spring, while other recent openings on the street include footwear brand Casadei, accessories label Faliero Sarti and luxury footwear specialist Aquazzura, alongside the eponymous flagship stores for Paul Smith, Amanda Wakeley and Alexander Wang.

Luxury German brand Philipp Plein opened its first UK flagship on New Bond Street in mid December.

The recent weakening in sterling, which has provided an immediate discount for many overseas shoppers, has given luxury spend in London a further boost, said Savills.

“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,” said Marie Hickey, commercial research director at Savills.

Anthony Selwyn, head of central London retail at Savills, added: “The role of a specific destination in brand building and enhancing the customer experience remains key, and the heritage of London and Paris saw these cities rank first and second for new luxury openings last year.

“With international travel expected to double by 2030, appetite among luxury retailers to expand in key markets will remain strong, though we expect to see several of the emerging luxury markets gain more market share.”

The findings supports a recent report from UK-based property services firm CBRE and luxury association Walpole, which said London still has the greatest long-term growth potential as a luxury destination compared with other global cities.






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