The study, “Destination Retail,” analyzed the top 240 international brands’ presence in 140 key cities, which combined account for 36 percent of the world’s GDP and more than $15 trillion of sales.
Hilfiger led the list with stores in 94 percent of the top 140 markets. Levi’s has 2,800 stores in 92 percent of the key global cities as identified and ranked by JLL. Nike and Hugo Boss each operate units in 91 percent of the key global cities, followed by Zara with 89 percent. Swatch, Louis Vuitton, The Body Shop, H&M and Adidas round out the top 10.
JLL ranked brands not by total store count, but rather by highest retail penetration globally. “The way we rank retailers is by the number of stores they have in the top 140 markets,” said Naveen Jaggi, JLL president of retail brokerage, adding that the retailers at the top of the list “are opening stores in all of the top global gateway cities.”
The top 10 retail destinations as identified by JLL are London, Hong Kong, Paris, Dubai, New York, Shanghai, Singapore, Beijing, Kuwait City and Tokyo. The city with the most international nameplates is Tokyo, with 44 percent; Hong Kong, 40 percent; Shanghai, 39 percent; Beijing and New York, 38 percent each; London and Paris, 37 percent each; Kuwait City, 36 percent, and Dubai, 35 percent.
While these cities have luxury retail thoroughfares, Jaggi said those districts are starting to diminish. “We’re not seeing so many luxury brands growing in numbers and square footage,” he said, noting that consumers have become more polarized and are shopping at retailers with either very high price points or value propositions.
Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue commanded the highest prices per square foot, followed by Hong Kong’s Canton Road and Avenue Montaigne in Paris.
The luxury market is maturing, stabilizing and consolidating with global sales expected to exceed $1.39 trillion in 2015, according to Bain & Co. By region, the Americas led the rest of the world, followed by Europe, driven by Chinese and U.S. tourists taking advantage of the weak euro. Luxury sales rose in Japan in 2015 but contracted in China. Sales in South Korea increased, but declined in Hong Kong and Macau due to government crackdowns on corruption.
“Retail as a segment is highly diversified and vibrant, but the massive success of brands such as Primark tend to be in the value segment more than ever before,” Jaggi said.
A recent slowdown in emerging markets has reined in some retailers’ expansion plans, Jaggi said. Emerging markets are still being targeted, but the markets that are considered attractive are different from in the past. “For years, emerging countries were considered Brazil, Russia, India and China,” Jaggi said. “We’ve seen since then that Brazil has taken a significant hit and China has matured quite rapidly. China has gone from a growth and emerging nation to a mature market in just 10 years.”
Now, the top five growth markets, according to the report, are Dubai, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah and Riyadh. “There’s a massive amount of wealth,” Jaggi said. “In each case, shopping center developers have been funded by the royal seat. Their view is a long-term hold view. In the Middle East, they don’t expect to hold a mall for five to 10 years and then sell it to a REIT.
“There’s a pipeline of retailers still going to Moscow. There’s a very strong upper class that spends money significantly. Will they be there in five years?” Jaggi said. “The pipeline for retailers is two to three years out. Can they sustain that five years from now?”
One way to mitigate risks associated with emerging markets is using franchise stores to expand globally, Jaggi said. “We’ve witnessed a number of retailers using franchisees to expand globally, including Debenhams in countries such as Bulgaria, Russia, Turkey, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia; H&M in Indonesia, and Gap in various Middle East and Asian markets.”