With the resurgence of the luxury market, space on the most popular shopping streets in the world is getting tighter and tighter. Fifth Avenue with the highest rents, retains its designer cachet but more moderately-priced retailers are muscling in. Grafton Street jumped from 10th to fifth place, a reflection of Ireland’s growing affluence. Meanwhile, Japan’s Ginza, with a spate of new megaflagships and shoppers with an appetite for designer goods, shot up to ninth place from 15.

    $950 per square foot

    Fifth Avenue rents are not for the fainthearted. Increasingly, chains that appeal to a broad customer base are digging into their deep pockets to fund flagships. H&M in 2000 planted its flag on Fifth Avenue and 51st Street, and Liz Claiborne in 2003 turned its Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street store into the first U.S. unit of Mexx. Zara opened a flagship in September between 54th and 55th Streets and Abercrombie & Fitch is taking over Fendi’s store at 720 Fifth Avenue.

    $711 per square foot

    The Champs-Elysées continues to attract both moderately priced brands and luxury tenants, resulting in a mix that appeals to the hoards of tourists who flock to the street. In addition to a Virgin Megastore, which stays open until midnight, and a Louis Vuitton flagship, Adidas and Go Sport, the French sports chain, recently signed deals for 50,000-square-foot spaces on the street. Hugo Boss and Lancel are opening stores in the next few months and H&M is said to be looking for a space on the street.

    $569 per square foot

    Causeway Bay is benefiting from an influx of tourists from mainland China drawn by the availability of luxury goods and the allure of prices that are about 40 percent cheaper. In addition to department stores Sogo, Lane Crawford and Mitsukoshi, boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Hermès and Christian Dior have outposts in the neighborhood. Causeway Bay appeals to bargain hunters, as well, with Jardine’s Crescent and Lee Garden Road.

    $517 per square foot

    Oxford Street from Marble Arch to Oxford Circus is home to department stores such as Selfridges, Debenhams and House of Fraser. The street has big international players, including Monsoon and Zara, and homegrown fashion chains such as New Look, Topshop, French Connection and Next. But the tattiness of some of the retailers has the local council looking at a makeover for the street. Urban Outfitters in September opened a 15,000-square-foot flagship and Adidas is set to arrive on Oxford Street later this month.
    $381 per square foot

    Grafton Street shot up from the 10th slot on last year’s list, in part a function of Ireland’s status as one of the wealthiest countries in the world with a gross domestic product ahead of the U.K. Brown Thomas, Selfridges and Weirs, a Dublin jewelry institution, uphold the luxury banner, while HMV, Next, Jigsaw, Warehouse and Monsoon are drawing a more populist crowd. Marks & Spencer, one of the U.K.’s largest retailers, has baked goods, home products, a beauty hall and private label fashion. Selfridges sells contemporary designer fashion, beauty, food and home goods and is increasingly appealing to young customers.

    $332 per square foot

    Kaufingerstrasse is still the most expensive and heavily frequented shopping street in Munich. In the last year, H&M took over the former Gap store, after that chain pulled out of Europe. Douglas also moved from one part of the street to another. Hettlage changed its mixed apparel assortment to a new women’s-only Hettlage Piazza concept. Benetton will move into a newly constructed building on the site where an older structure is being torn down, and S. Oliver in 2006 will be moving into a new building where Salamander formerly stood.

    $325 per square foot

    Despite political and economic uncertainty, well-to-do Russians haven’t curbed their taste for luxury goods. With the Russian economy enjoying growth, everyone from J.Lo to Louis Vuitton wants a piece of the retail action. Tverskaya Street, a favorite shopping destination for young Muscovites, boasts a GUM satellite store, Diesel and a new 2,000-square-foot Levi’s flagship.

    $321 per square foot

    Pitt Street Mall is home to shopping centers such as Sydney Central Plaza and the newer Sydney Arcade. The mall boasts The Strand, built in 1892, which houses Australian fashion brands including Zambelli Donna and Adam Dixon, and home stores like Past Present Future, which showcases Italian designers such as Alessi and Mandarin Duck. The major department stores David Jones and Grace have entrances on Pitt Street. The foot traffic — about 500,000 people a week — qualifies the mall as one of the busiest retail stretches in the world.
    $311 per square foot

    Luxury brands are building megaflagships on the Ginza, a testament to the Japanese penchant for luxury products and the staying power of one of the city’s premier streets. Christian Dior in October opened its largest store in Asia on the Ginza. The 10,300-square-foot flagship is spread over six floors and one underground level. Chanel in December is opening a three-story unit housed in the company’s new 14-floor tower.

    $301 per square foot

    Myeongdong, in the heart of Seoul, is home to banks and brokerage firms and Western and traditional restaurants. It’s also known as South Korea’s fashion street, with its luxury boutiques and department stores. Other shopping streets in Seoul, such as Namdaemun and Dongdaemun Market, are populated with retailers selling low-priced products.


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