MILAN — In the eternal rivalry between Milan and Paris regarding all things fashion, it seems that Milan has gotten one up on its French counterpart.
According to research by SEA — the operator of the Italian business capital’s principal airports — and consulting firm Pambianco Strategie di Impresa, Milan is the world’s top fashion and luxury goods shopping destination.
In a presentation Thursday at Milan’s Malpensa Airport, Pambianco head David Pambianco and SEA President Pietro Modiano said the city is the place to be for luxury goods and fashion hunters. Although the city attracts fewer visitors overall (around six million a year) compared to other shopping meccas, in terms of average shopping-ticket value it leads the pack: 1,398 euros, or $1,486, compared to 1,241 euros in Paris, 1,240 euros in London, 978 euros in Rome and $800 in New York.
According to the research, which SEA and Pambianco said was based on a series of “qualitative interviews on a sample of international trend setters,” the main reason tourists come to Milan is, indeed, to shop — a big difference compared to other cities, where the reasons for travel are varied and not as focused.
Milan is also increasingly a city for shoppers with various budgets: from aficionados of the “quadrilatero della moda” — the area of tightly knit streets around Via Montenapoleone where the average ticket is 1,802 euros, or $1,940, — to more “popular” areas, like the central (but cheaper) Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Corso Buenos Aires shopping streets.
In what may come as a surprise, Malpensa emerged as the location with the second-highest average ticket, at some 701 euros.
According to Pambianco and Modiano, top-spending tourists find Milan “exciting and cosmopolitan” — thanks also to recent urban regeneration projects which have redesigned significant parts of the city’s skyline.
The research also found that overall luxury goods sales will grow by about 17 percent over the next four years, or some four percent a year on average, compared with a growth of about 30 percent over the previous five years.
The study confirmed the importance of tourists to the French and Italian luxury goods sector, with travelers making up some 65 percent of buyers in France and about 60 percent in Italy.