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.

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