LAS VEGAS — At the International Council of Shopping Centers’ ReCon convention here this week, global consumer demand was a key topic of discussion.
Many retailers adopted a conservative or even cautious stance to expansion as growth of some of the biggest world economies has been tempered at best.
American property owners and brokerage firms made the case for top U.S. cities, although pockets of softness have become apparent in key markets across the country, including several retail neighborhoods in Manhattan.
Nonetheless, JLL’s 2016 “Destination Retail Report,” released during ReCon, cited Manhattan as the most attractive U.S. city for cross-border luxury brands.
Las Vegas captured the number-two spot, with many luxury brands opening multiple stores at resorts in the city.
Los Angeles moved from ninth place to third, in part because the notoriously tight market, which historically had little vacant space, has opened up in the past two years.
Miami held on to its fourth-place ranking thanks to a boost from the Miami Design District and Latin American tourists, although the ranks of Brazilian visitors has declined, as has that of Russians.
Chicago dropped from number two to number five, San Francisco dipped to number six from number five and Dallas moved to seventh place from eighth.
Atlanta, which wasn’t ranked in 2014, the last time the report was published, captured the eighth spot, as major new infill projects attracted luxury retailers.
Houston, Honolulu and Washington, D.C., which had not been on the list in 2014, rounded out the top 10.
According to the report, Americans were the second-largest spenders on luxury, followed by the Chinese.
In the United States, Upper Fifth Avenue in New York is tops in rents with asking prices reaching up to $3,500 a square foot, followed closely by Los Angeles ($1,100), San Francisco ($650), Honolulu ($580) and San Jose ($480).
“To luxury retailers, a flagship isn’t just a point of sale — it’s a branding play and there’s a willingness to pay top dollar for the right space,” the report said.