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London's West End is Europe's highest ranking retail area

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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London's West End is Europe's highest ranking retail area when it comes to spending, reaching 8,5 billion pounds in 2013.

Beating the likes of Paris, Florence, Zurich and Moscow, London is the leading destination of all of Europe's towns and cities by retail spend.

Paris is the second largest spending retail city

According to retail specialist Harper Dennis Hobbs (HDH), and the International Council of Shopping Centers, Paris is the next biggest retail draw with 7.7 billion pounds spent and Madrid nearly 5 billion.

The rankings have been based on a 2 km radius around the town or city centre, which is thought to be the maximum distance shoppers are willing to walk on a single shopping trip, with the report analysing and ranking over 15,000 towns and cities across Europe.

“The top 10 towns and cities in Europe are those that have a strong residential, worker and tourist spend and include Rome, Munich, Milan, Moscow, Berlin, Zurich and Istanbul,” said Mike Morrissey, ICSC chief global co-ordination officer. “There are some second city entries high up the table where tourism perhaps has a lesser impact, but which have strong retail cores with a wide choice of retail on offer, such as Glasgow and Hamburg.”

The UK has the greatest number of towns and cities in the top 50 (10 in total) but, outside of London’s West End, it has none in the top 10. Germany has 8 towns or cities in the top 50 with Munich and Berlin taking 5th and 8th position, respectively. France has 7 locations in the top 50 but only Paris is in the top 20.

Meanwhile the research also noted that Moscow (7th), St Petersburg (22nd) and Warsaw (48th) would all would be significantly higher up the rankings if it wasn’t for there being significantly more out of town malls in or around their urban cores.

The rankings have been calibrated not only through detailed mathematical research but are also based on HDH’s in-depth understanding of the European retail market, developed from HDH’s work across many different locations. By advising new entrants to Europe, such as American Eagle and J.Crew, and established brands such as Louis Vuitton, Karen Millen and Oasis, HDH understands which locations are most important for global retailers and what factors influence retail spend.