Sheila King, Leasing director, new business at retail property firm Hammerson.
Many commentators heralded the recession as the end of consumers’ love of luxury. However, while purchases are now much more considered, consumers are still more than happy to add to their wardrobes and make-up bags with luxury brands. We’ve all become smarter shoppers and being savvy about how and where you spend has even permeated the luxury market.
It’s not only consumers that have adopted a more considered outlook. Luxury retailers are also carefully scrutinising their store sites. It is a major investment to open a flagship and the major UK cities are now competing on a global level to attract retailers. There has to be something exceptional about the destination and a critical mass of luxury stores clustered together is becoming ever more vital. While London remains a popular luxury shopping destination with tourists, there is good news for regional growth as retailers are not overlooking the key catchments around big UK cities, where there is still a growing desire from consumers to update outfits regularly with luxury accessories.
What’s clear from the report is that the UK still leads the world when it comes to department stores, as they top the list of locations where luxury goods are purchased. We’ve seen major investment in the quality of the stores and there is a real desire to attract the best premium brands.
This report highlights the growing opportunity for luxury destinations and retailers that can capture consumers’ loyalty through an exceptional in-store and online experience - which we’re keen to make the most of.