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The top retail brands in the world are converging on Auckland

  • Property
  • September 7, 2016
  • Elly Strang
The top retail brands in the world are converging on Auckland

The report outlines the top 25 most ‘expansive and connected’ global retailers, with Tommy Hilfiger topping the list.

The brand is in 94 percent of the top 140 cities around the world, but hasn’t opened a New Zealand store yet.

Levi’s, Nike, Hugo Boss and Zara round up the rest of the top five.

Levi’s has 2800 stores in 92 percent of the top cities, including three stores in New Zealand.

Nike operates in 91 percent of the top cities around the world and has six stores in New Zealand.

Hugo Boss has stores in Newmarket on Queen St, while Zara is opening a store at Sylvia Park before Christmas.

JLL New Zealand head of retail Chris Beasleigh, says if you look at the list, almost all of the top retailers have stores in Auckland.

“That wasn’t the case a couple of years ago,” he says.

“Auckland’s retail scene has come such a long way in the last five years or so, but of course it still doesn’t compare to the great retail cities of the world, like London, Hong Kong, Paris, Dubai and New York.

“Auckland is number 129 in JLL’s Global Top 140 retail cities in terms of economic size. That number gets better when those cities are ranked by GDP per capita - Auckland is number 94. And when you look at the retail sales growth forecast over a five-year period, Auckland ranks at number 82.”

He also says when cities are ranked on retail attractiveness, Auckland ties in 131st place with Helsinki and Chennai.

When it comes to the cities with the highest rent rates, Paris tops the list at 18,000 Euros (NZD 27,947) per square metre for a prime spot on the Champs-Elysees. Auckland is 68th.

European brands top the list

A key insight that emerged out of the top 25 retail brands is that more than half of them originate from Europe.

This may be why the international heavyweights that have made their way to New Zealand’s shores are European in origin: Topshop, H&M and Zara.

JLL director of global retail research James Brown says European retailers dominate the global landscape because they have adapted to operating in many small markets within Europe.

“In order to grow, retailers must operate outside their boundaries,” Brown says.

“We also found that U.S. retailers tend to keep close to home despite their brand strength, but we expect them to bring the next wave of international expansion in order to grow. It’s just a matter of time before their store presence will outpace European retailers.”

There’s also the growing trend of stores opening in cities without the first priority being maximising profits.

“A new store opening is no longer about racking up sales, it can support a wider wholesale, franchise or online business and can be an offensive move to safeguard market share,” Beasleigh says.

“Increased brand awareness in a given city can also lead to an uptick in online purchasing in the market.”

Read the full report here.

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