London has been named Europe’s most sought-after destination for international retailers looking to grow their store footprints.

The capital ranked second in a list of the world’s most popular destinations for retail expansion, according to new data from global commercial property adviser CBRE.

London was pipped to the crown only by Hong Kong, which retained top spot in CBRE’s annual report How Global is the Business of Retail?

According to CBRE figures, Hong Kong attracted 87 new retail entrants over the past year.

England’s capital was some way behind in second, although the lure of the West End and prime shopping centres such as Westfield Stratford combined to attract 65 new retailers to the city.

Businesses including Dyson, New Balance, IKKS and Typo have all launched their first stores in London over the past year, helping the city maintain its position as a global retail powerhouse.

CityNew retail entrants2017 rank2016 rank

Hong Kong

87

1

1

London

65

2

6

Dubai

59

3

7

Doha

58

4

10

Tokyo

48

5

3

Singapore

46

6

2

Paris

36

7

20

Moscow

33

8

5

Toronto

30

9

11

Vienna

29

10

15

A quarter of the new brands launching in London were mid-range retailers, CBRE said, while 20% were luxury entrants, that gravitated towards the Mayfair area of the city.

CBRE research revealed that the majority of new retailers opening in London originated from the US, as brands seek to establish a foothold in the city before branching out into mainland Europe.

London’s closest European rival was Paris, which jumped from 20th place to seventh after 36 new retailers opened their doors in the French capital.

Moscow slipped from fifth place last year to eight spot, despite welcoming 33 new retailers, while Vienna leapt into the top 10 after wooing 29 new brands to Austria.

“Retailers are increasingly looking at the traditional strongholds of London, Paris and Hong Kong”

David Close, CBRE

Combined, European cities attracted 43% of new retail brands, up from 36% the previous year.

Dubai and Doha both climbed into the top five after attracting more than 100 new retailers between them – emphasising the increasing appeal of doing business in the Middle East.

Toronto was the only city from the Americas to make it into the top 10, finishing ninth after welcoming 30 new brands.

Globally, specialist clothing stores made up 18% of last year’s new retail entrants, while mid-range fashion stores accounted for 17% of the openings.

Retail strongholds

CBRE senior director cross-border retail EMEA, David Close, said: “The current economic climate has led to retail brands targeting tried-and-tested retail locations.

“Retailers are increasingly looking at the traditional strongholds of London, Paris and Hong Kong and stores in the most prominent cities remain a strategic opportunity to attract consumers, build brand loyalty and generate sales off-line and on”.

CBRE’s chairman of London retail, Hugh Radford, added: “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.”