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Market Commentary

​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 28 July, 2014

​Retailers respond to global multi-speed economic recovery, and increasing importance of tourism spend

It has been announced this week by the IMF that the UK's economy is growing faster than those of every other major developed country. The IMF has upgraded its forecast for UK growth to 3.2% this year and 2.7% in 2015. The upward revision of 0.4% points in 2014 and 0.2% points in 2015 from the last forecast in April was the largest upgrade of any major western economy for both years. This forecast is positive for UK Retail, and will provide fuel for the recovery which has been evident in recent months.

In other news, Marks & Spencer has laid down plans to bolster its presence in the Middle East with ten new stores, set to open in Saudi Arabia by April next year. Additionally, Cath Kidston has sold a substantial stake in the business to Baring Private Equity Asia, in a move that will propel the British brand’s growth in China. Cath Kidston’s potential to expand in the fast growing Asian markets was clearly one of the most attractive prospects to a buyer. The retailer now plans to add to its current store portfolio, which numbers just under 150 across the UK and Asia, by rolling out out over 100 stores in China. Both of these examples of expansion into international growth markets are being driven in part by the global multi-speed economic recovery (just one of the trends discussed in JLL’s Redefining Retail Places Project).

Another trend which we are tracking is the increasing importance of tourism spend in the global retail market. Many retail and leisure operators are expanding into transport termini; this week Fortnum and Mason and Louis Vuitton announced new stores at Heathrow Terminal 5. Fortnum and Mason’s move follows its first store opening in over 300 years at St Pancras station early this year. In addition, international leisure operator, Nando’s, has opened its first European Airport store at Gatwick Airport this week. This is the 15th restaurant opening for the airport since 2011. JLL’s Transport, Airport and Global Infrastructure Team currently advise Gatwick Airport on its retail strategy. 

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