UK trumps European retail rankings list

Shoppers walk along Oxford Street in central London on January 20, 2013.   Four big British high-street retailers had to call in administrators this winter as cash-strapped, web-literate consumers proved unforgiving of stores failing to adapt to fast-evolving markets.  AFP PHOTO/ANDREW COWIE        (Photo credit should read ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)

Ten cities in the UK have secured a space in the list of top 50 retail centres in Europe by retail specialist Harper Dennis Hobbs.

The updated ranking of European towns and cities by retail spend see’s the UK not only scoop the top spot, but also secure the most positions on the list.

London’s West End still tops the table and there are no changes in the top six retail centres – which include Paris, Madrid, Rome, Munich and Berlin – but in the top 50 London has also been joined by UK cities Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham, Cardiff, Newcastle upon Tyne and Edinburgh.

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The rankings identify a shift in growing markets and what influences retailers should take into account in tailoring their expansion strategies.

The research finds that global events and volatile economic conditions are impacting significantly on retail hubs, with changes in local consumer spending levels, retail expansions and competing developments also affecting which centres are on the rise or decline.

Jonathan De Mello, head of retail consultancy at Harper Dennis Hobbs (HDH), comments: “These rankings take into account both retail sales growth and new retail development, allowing retailers to comprehensively understand which centres are on the rise and plan accordingly. The rankings are therefore particularly useful for identifying growing markets. While the level of consumer spend coming to a city is a key factor in its success, other elements, such as out-of-town developments, can significantly impact the performance of a centre. These rankings are a crucial insight into Europe’s current retail hierarchy.”

While there is ongoing uncertainty following the UK’s ‘Brexit’ referendum, positive retail sales growth in January, make it the 45th consecutive month of year-on-year growth for the UK and the EU economy also grew as a whole. However, the triggering of Article 50 is expected to have a wide-ranging impact on European retail, and the ambiguity may result in some retailers limiting their exposure to the UK.

Notwithstanding this, HDH still expects London to remain Europe’s pre-eminent retail centre for some time to come, with supply of trail stock still outstripped by significant – and ever growing – demand.

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