Retailers pay top dollar for the privilege of operating stores on the world’s most prominent thoroughfares. While the sagging economy has dampened consumers’ taste for luxury goods, prices on these key streets haven’t faltered. The high rents are a price retailers are willing to pay to build global brands, which require a presence on every major tourist boulevard.
This story first appeared in the October 10, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The 20 most important and expensive shopping thoroughfares in the world.
Fifth Avenue between 53rd and 57th Streets
$800 to $1,200 per square foot
Gone are Warner Bros. and Coca-Cola, a sign of the continuing “luxification” of Fifth Avenue. Rents are rising. Zegna reportedly leased 661 Fifth Avenue from Salvatore Ferragamo for $1,200 a square foot.
Madison Avenue, between 57th and 65th Streets
$700 to $800 per square foot
Luxury brands looking for a refined environment choose Madison Avenue, which attracts locals and well-heeled tourists. Chanel reportedly paid $800 per square foot at 737 Madison Avenue for its 1,690-square-foot shoe and handbag shop.
East 57th Street, between Fifth and Madison Aves. $700 per square foot
Prada, Jil Sander, Coach and Burberry represent the retail mix on East 57th Street. Corner stores lease for a premium. LVMH is reportedly asking $1,000 per square foot at 598 Madison Ave. on the northwest corner of 57th Street.
New Bond Street, London
$703 per square foot
Versace, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Nicole Farhi are prime stomping grounds for visiting celebrities. De Beers is opening a global flagship on Old Bond Street and the corner of Piccadilly at the end of the year.
Oxford Street, London
$666 per square foot
Young people troll Oxford Street for trendy fashion at H&M, Top Shop, Zara, French Connection and Nike Town. There’s traditional fare at Selfridges and Marks & Spencer. Then there are the megastores for Virgin and HMV.
$550 per square foot for a 1,000-square-foot shop
Locals and tourists shop the retail mix, which includes the Gap, Virgin Megastore, Louis Vuitton, Zara, Sephora and an upcoming Cartier. The most desirable locations – mid-street, on the sunny side – can fetch $900 per square foot.
Sloane Street, London
$470 per square foot
Chelsea socialites spend their old money at Bottega Veneta, Hermès, Chanel, Versace, Louis Vuitton and Giorgio Armani — not to mention Harvey Nichols at the corner with Knightsbridge.
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
$468 per square foot
Causeway Bay is Hong Kong’s most popular shopping district with the Seibu and Mitsukoshi department stores, Armani Exchange, Christian Dior, Gieves & Hawkes and Ralph Lauren, plus street markets, nightclubs and restaurants.
Pitt Street Mall, Sydney
$425 per square foot
Pitt Street Mall is anchored by Myer Grace Bros. and David Jones. Shops include Polo Ralph Lauren, General Pants, Sportsgirl, Nine West and Furla. Space is tight and a few tenants pay top rents of $550 to $800 a square foot.
Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, Paris
$375 per square foot
Faubourg Saint-Honoré is one of the city’s toniest streets with Christian Dior, Prada, Yves Saint-Laurent and Emanuel Ungaro. The most desirable part is near the Hermès flagship and Rue Royal, where rents hit $500 per square foot.
Avenue Montaigne, Paris
$316 to $350 per square foot
Avenue Montaigne, the old grande dame of Paris streets, now has Calvin Klein, Marni, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci. The Costes brothers opened trendy L’Avenue restaurant and the Plaza Athenee bar has been revamped.
$300 to $350 per square foot
Despite the weak economy, the Ginza is booming with Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and Burberry. Prada is coming next year. But Ginza is getting competition from the Aoyama district, where luxury brands are also opening.
Manezhnaya Square, Moscow
$300 per square foot
In the middle of the Central Square, is Manezhnaya, an underground shopping complex with 120 shops including Benetton, Mexx, Nike, Mandarin Duck, Wedgewood and cosmetics stores Rivoli and Articoli.
$280 per square foot
There’s an emphasis on luxury goods, alpine souvenirs and sporting goods on this cosmopolitan tree-lined street in Zurich. Retailers include Benetton, Bogner, Chanel, Bulgari, Ferragamo, H&M and Louis Vuitton.
$250 per square foot
Kaufingerstrasse, a street closed to traffic, attracts hordes of pedestrians with mid-priced stores such as H&M, Gap, Zara, Ebbeling, Sporthaus and Oberpollinger, and department stores Kaufhof and Karstadt.
$240 per square foot
Ermou Street, once the main street for traffic, is now closed to cars. Besides Benetton and Zara, Ermou has local shops likes Athinia and Stoubos Furs. Street vendors sell chestnuts in the winter and corn-on-the-cob in the summer.
$235 per square foot
Zeil offers mass and moderately-priced stores such as Peek & Cloppenburg, a moderate chain, Esprit, Zara, Mango, jeweler Christ, and women’s shop Appelrath-Cüpper. Department stores Kaufhof Galeria and Karstadt are here.
Crocus City Mall, Moscow
$200 per square foot
The Crocus City Mall is opening in November, modeled after Bal Harbour Shops with boutiques such as Ungaro, Versace, Iceberg, Céline and Roberto Cavalli. A small train will carry people around the huge complex.
Via Montenapoleone, Milan
$198 per square foot
After loading up on luxury goods from the likes of Gucci, Prada, Cartier, Ferragamo, Pucci, Etro, Valentino, Alberta Ferretti, Hogan, Pratesi and Loro Piana, serious shoppers fortify at Cova, a historic cafe.
Via dei Condotti, Rome
$198 per square foot
Near the Spanish Steps is Via dei Condotti. Gucci, Max Mara, Trussardi, Valentino, Sisley, Prada, Giorgio Armani and Buccelatti are among the attractions. The Antico Caffe Greco here once hosted Byron, Shelley and Keats.
SOURCE: ORIGINAL REPORTING, BUREAUS. NOTE: IN LONDON, RENTS ARE CALCULATED BASED ON ZONE A –THE FIRST 20 FEET OF SPACE FROM THE STREET.