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Singapore Among Top 20 Global Cities for International Retailers: Survey

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by Ernie B. Calucag

Singapore ranks among the top 20 global cities where international retailers have the largest presence, according to the 2012 edition of ‘How Global is the Business of Retail?’ by global property adviser CBRE.

The country is the most targeted market in Asia for European retailers, with 39.9 per cent of European brands present here, followed by Beijing (38.8 per cent), Shanghai (38.3 per cent) and Hong Kong (37.7 per cent), the survey found.

“This is testament to the successful evolution of Singapore as a global city and tourist destination. Singapore remains an accessible potential test bed for new brands and retailers seeking a Southeast Asian, Asian exposure,” said Letty Lee, Director, Retail Services in Singapore.

Among the top 20 cities for international brands, Hong Kong continues to be number one among Asian cities and ranked sixth globally with 40.5 per cent of retailers having a presence.

Singapore (38.9 per cent) ranks in tenth position, followed by Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo. The remainder of the top 20 comprises a mix of traditional and emerging markets, providing an indication of how global the international retail business really is.

The results show very healthy levels of activity in the key Asian markets as brands continue to look for new growth opportunities. The continuing rise in consumer purchasing power and an ever increasing level of fashion sophistication have attracted the leading global brands to continue investing in new market entry,” commented Sebastian Skiff, Executive Director of CBRE Retail Asia.

“We are seeing a continued flow of new brands approaching us for help in targeting the Asia markets and we see strong demand for 2013 from US, European and Australian brands,” he added.

On a global basis, London has reclaimed the number one position as the most targeted market for international retailers. The city attracts more than half (55.6 per cent) of all international retail brands surveyed after sharing the top spot with Dubai last year.

While Dubai (53.8 per cent) still holds considerable global pulling power, it dropped into second position due to a handful of retailers exiting the market. New York (43.9 per cent) remains in third position.

London benefited from a mini-boom in 2011 as tourist spending boosted a relatively robust local economy, and remains a key hub for retailers looking to expand into Europe. The United Kingdom also retains number one position as the world’s most popular national market for international retailers with 56.7 per cent of retailers in the survey present there.

CBRE’s annual survey – now in its fifth year – mapped the global footprint of 326 of the world’s top retailers across more than 200 cities to identify trends in global retail expansion at national and local levels.

The report found that retailers expanded into a wide range of markets in 2011, with 74 per cent of the countries in the survey seeing at least one new leading international retailer having entered the market last year.

The overall global footprint of retailers grew 2.1 per cent, similar to the previous year, demonstrating that retailers continue to grow their cross-border businesses in spite of a challenging consumer environment.