US luxury brands choosing London as gateway to European markets

New Bond Street, London. Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Luxury US brands including watch companies mostly prefer London as their launch pad for breaking into European markets.

That’s according to new research from real estate firm Savills that showed luxury US brands wanting to expand overseas have caused increased activity in Europe’s letting activity.

The research identified the UK’s capital and Paris as the favoured entry points for brands and found that accessible luxury brands driven by the ‘aggressive expansion’ of US operators has contributed significantly to increased letting activity.

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Savills claimed that accessible luxury brands have grown their market share by 7% to 45% in 2017.

Although luxury US brands are rapidly expanding their market share, 54% of all new openings are accounted for by Italian and French brands, showing they still dominate acquisition activity.

In 2017 London enjoyed 5% of all affordable luxury store openings globally. This was level with Milan and ahead of Munich and Oslo.

But Paris was top of the European and global rankings with 5.9% of all letting activity occurring in the French capital.

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