London’s West End has weathered problems on the high street to keep its position as the top of the European retail league, while seven of the top 10 shopping centres are in the UK.
Shoppers spent almost €10.4bn (£9.1bn) on and around Oxford Street, Knightsbridge and Kensington for the year ending November, a 12 per cent increase from 2017, figures from retail property advisor Harper Dennis Hobbs show.
Jonathan De Mello, head of retail consultancy, said: “With a market share of almost €10.4bn, the West End is continuing to thrive, even with competition from new retail developments such as King’s Cross and Westfield London’s 68,000 sq m extension, as well as continued loss in the value of the pound against the euro.”
“As we've seen with London's West End, the core areas of retail are still dominant. Despite rising costs, brands are seeing the value of having a flagship presence in these locations, rather than on the periphery.
“In recent times the likes of Microsoft, Nespresso, and Dyson have all taken retail units here to capitalise on the increasing demand.”
The figures also cast doubt on high street woes, showing a 12.5 per cent rise across 10 UK high streets, including 12 per cent in London, helped by the pound strengthening against the euro.
However, other UK cities did less well against their European rivals, with Cardiff, Newcastle and Leeds all dropping multiple places on the list.
Meanwhile, the UK dominated a list of the biggest shopping centres in Europe, clinching all but three of the top 10 spots.
And the combined sales at London’s two Westfields is higher than all but three European cities, ahead of Rome, Berlin and Barcelona.
Bluewater in Kent, and the Trafford Centre in Manchester also landed in Europe’s top five.
Here are Europe's top 10 shopping centres:
|Shopping centre||City||Retail spend|
|3||Les Quatre Temps||Paris||€2.6bn|
“This year we’ve also ranked the top 10 shopping centres, and found that the very strongest centres in Europe – both of London’s Westfield schemes – actually rank higher than some retail cities. Westfield London alone attracts more retail spend than St. Petersburg, given the significant out-of-town competition faced by St. Petersburg,” De Mello said.
After London, Paris is clearly Europe’s second-favourite shopping city at €9.7bn, with third-place Madrid lagging far behind on €6bn.
Turkey’s currency crisis forced shoppers to stay at home, and halted retail developments, allowing Glasgow, Zurich, Milan and Amsterdam to leapfrog Istanbul. Meanwhile, Birmingham lost the 13th spot to Lisbon, and Berlin overtook Munich.
Europe's top 15 cities for retail spend:
|1||London (West End)||€10.4bn|