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News Release


London still leader of the retail city pack according to JLL research

West End retail growth to double that of Paris, Madrid and Milan

London, 26th November 2014- London continues to rank as Europe’s most attractive city for international retailer location and expansion according to new research from JLL.

Destination Europe 2015 has examined the expansion and presence of 250 of the world’s leading international retailers, across 57 key European cities. It has found that tourism levels, maturity, market transparency and size of its retail market is keeping London leader of the retailer destination pack.

The UK capital continues to act as an entry point to Europe for international brands, with J Crew, Tom Ford, DSquared2, The Toy Store, John Varvatos, Karl Lagerfeld and West Elm being some of the latest entrants.

A demand driven ‘ripple effect’ is driving the growth and success of many parts of London’s retail scene, including Carnaby District, Seven Dials, Dover Street, Brompton Cross and Shoreditch. These areas are witnessing strong upward pressure on rents and an increasing demand from international brands.

Rental prices in the capital have reached record levels, with New Bond Street topping the rental league across Europe due in part to scarcity of supply. Headline rents of £1,350 Zone A per sq m per year have been achieved, representing an astonishing 42 per cent growth on the levels achieved in 2012.

The report finds that the US is the top retail exporter to European cities, accounting for over 18 per cent of total retailer presence in top 57 markets. The UK ranks third, accounting for over 14 per cent of total international retailer presence with retailers including The Body Shop, Lush, Karen Millen, Superdry, Burberry, Marks & Spencer, Topshop and Primark having collectively opened over 100 new stores across Europe.

H&M and Zara top the list of retailers with the most coverage across Europe, with Mango, The Body Shop and Benetton also in the top five. London is still top of the leader board in terms of attractiveness for luxury retailers, with the city increasing its lead ahead of Paris, Moscow, Milan and Rome. The luxury retail market remains buoyant and this is highlighted by several flagship store openings such as Chanel and Belstaff on Bond Street. The report identifies the top five luxury retailers as Louis Vuitton, Max Mara, Armani, Gucci and Mont Blanc.

James Brown, Head of EMEA Retail Research & Consulting at JLL observed: “We expect international retailer expansion to continue its momentum across the key European retail markets. However physical expansion is more careful, more considered, and more selective than ever before, as sweeping structural changes further redefine retail and retail places.”

The report predicts an influx of brands entering the European market from the Asia Pacific region as cyclical and economic headwinds ease acting as a catalyst for further activity in the short to medium term.

Mark Smith, Head of JLL UK’s Central London retail team commented: “Limited supply of stock, particularly on Bond Street, has driven rental growth throughout the last two years, and substantial premiums continue to be paid. This demonstrates the value to luxury retailers from having presence in iconic retailing locations such as London, which will likely maintain these super-premium rental levels.”

Guy Grainger, UK CEO at JLL added: “London’s core West End continues to go from strength to strength. As a visitor destination, the area has all the attributes needed to thrive in the new world, where the physical and digital have collided. This includes superb connectivity, unrivalled variety and depth of offer, culture and heritage in abundance, and an identity that reaches all corners of the world. However, London can’t afford to rest on its laurels, and initiatives such as no-traffic days and street fashion events will further enhance the capital’s standing as a retail destination.”