London remains the most sought after destination for retailers wanting to expand their operations, according to research by CBRE.

Globally, London is ranked second only to Hong Kong which has retained its position as the world’s most popular destination for retailer expansion attracting 87 new retailers in 2016. 

 London has witnessed the second highest presence of new retail entrants, with a total of 65 international retailers opening new stores in London last year. Retailers such as Nars, New Balance and Dyson have all opened new stores in the UK capital recently.

The annual report, entitled How Global is the Business of Retail?, found that the majority of the new retail brands that have opened in London originate from the United States. Furthermore, 2016 also set a record for the amount of money invested in retail property in London with £2bn being spent by the end of last year.

Retailers ‘increasingly selective’

Hugh Radford, chairman-London retail at CBRE, said: “London is faring very well compared to other global cities and despite the headwinds of the business rates revaluation, which has had an impact on most retailers, international retail brands still continue to see the importance of having a store presence in London. The record number of tourists visiting London, benefitting from the weak pound, has also given a boost to most retailers’ sales figures.

“However, retailers are being increasingly selective about getting the right location and property to allow them to develop their retail offer and attract new customers”.

Of the new brands arriving in London, 25% have been mid-range retailers, with luxury retailers gravitating towards the Mayfair area and making up 20% of all new retail entrants.

London is followed by Dubai, which attracted 59 new retailers in 2016. Doha moved up six places from last year’s highest new entrants ranking to take fourth place with 58 new retail brands and Tokyo being the fifth most sought after market with 48 new entrants.

Globally, the report revealed that coffee shops and restaurants to be the hottest retail sector for expansion into new markets, with retailers in that category accounting for 22% of all expansion at city level. Next in line was specialist clothing stores (18%) and mid-range fashion stores (17%).