Monday, 23 April 2012

S'pore is 10th top city for global retailers

It is seen by European retailers as springboard to rest of region: Survey
By Gan Yu Jia, The Straits Times, 21 Apr 2012

BIG-NAME retailers from around the world continue to see Singapore an important place to set up shop, according to 2012 report on 'How Global is the Business of Retail?' by global property consultant CBRE.

It ranked the city as the 10th top destination for retail giants this year, down from eighth last year.

The survey also found that Singapore was a key destination for European brands needing a springboard to the rest of the region.

CBRE looked at what sort of presence 326 international retailers had established in more than 200 cities.

London retained the top spot from last year as the most targeted market, with 55.5 per cent of those retailers present.

It is said to have benefited from a 'mini-boom' last year driven by more contributions from its tourism sector while remaining a key hub for retailers looking to expand into Europe.

Dubai, which tied with London last year, came a close second, with 53.8 per cent of retailers present.

Singapore was ranked 10th, with 38.9 per cent of retailers having set up shop here.

While this was a drop from the eighth placing last year, the proportion of top retailers here has inched up from 38.5 per cent in 2011.

The survey also found that Singapore is the most targeted market in Asia for European retailers, with 39.9 per cent of European brands present here.

This was followed by Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, which had 38.8 per cent, 38.3 per cent and 37.7 per cent of European brands respectively.

Ms Letty Lee, CBRE's director of retail services, said in a statement: 'Singapore remains an accessible potential test bed for new brands and retailers seeking a South-east Asian, Asian exposure. An example would be how Bugis has attracted new-to-market brands.'

Mr Sebastian Skiff, CBRE Retail executive director for Asia, added: 'The results show very healthy levels of activity in the key Asian markets as brands continue to look for new growth opportunities.

'We are seeing a continued flow of new brands approaching us for help in targeting the Asia markets and we see strong demand from (American), European and Australian brands.'

Some of the international brands which entered Singapore last year include Japanese home furnishing brand Francfranc, French bakery Paul, Italian luxury brand Panerai, and Swedish clothing chain H&M.

Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo are also among the top 20 cities.

A key survey finding was that the overall global footprint of retailers had grown by 2.1 per cent, similar to the previous year.

This shows that retailers continue to grow their cross-border businesses 'despite a challenging consumer environment'.

The survey referred to Vietnam as a new market that has been consistently growing over the past two years, with a large, young and increasingly affluent population that is becoming 'ever more fashion conscious'.

The survey noted also that although Japanese retailers have historically been the most aggressive in cross-border expansion among the Asian brands, a new wave of Chinese and Korean retail groups are expected to move into new markets and regions.

1. London
2. Dubai
3. New York
4. Moscow
4. Paris
6. Hong Kong
7. Madrid
8. Kuwait city
9. Barcelona
10. Singapore

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