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London tops in luxury retail openings


More luxury stores opened in London in 2016 than any other city in the world.

The British capital topped the global ranking for new luxury retail store openings in 2016, according to Savills Global Luxury Retail report.

The city saw a total of 41 luxury store openings during the year, (of which 15 were the respective brand’s first ever store in London), followed by Paris, with 36 openings, and New York, with 31. Rounding out the top five were Dubai (31), Hong Kong (25) and Milan (24).

London has consistently been the most visited city in the world by international tourists, according to Savills, making it an important luxury retail market as approximately a third of this type of spend takes place abroad.

For European luxury brands, London is a useful stepping stone prior to expanding into the U.S., while for U.S. brands it provides a gateway to Europe both geographically and in terms of brand profile.

Looking ahead, forecasts by the World Tourism Organization suggest international tourist arrivals globally will double to almost 1.8 billion by 2030, aided by further growth of low cost air travel and a rapidly expanding and mobile middle class from emerging economies. Europe will remain the largest tourist market with a projected market share of 41% by 2030 and its gateway cities, such as London, will be key target destinations for the increased tourist flow.

Destinations favored by Chinese nationals, who acquire about 40% of their luxury goods abroad, are highly attractive for luxury retailers. London’s appeal for luxury brands has therefore been enhanced by its rising popularity among Chinese travelers, with visitor numbers increasing 69% in 2015. The recent weakening in the Pound, which has provided an immediate discount for many overseas shoppers, has given luxury spend in London a further boost, Savills noted.
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