With tourist spending in the UK due to rise above £21bn this year, London’s shopping streets will be major beneficiaries.
The latest Colliers International Central London Retail Health Check reports that luxury shops are particularly targeting international visitors. Overseas shoppers on average spend four times more than their UK counterparts and more than half of the capital’s luxury shops now have a staff member who can speak Mandarin.
The vibrancy of the London retail sector has seen the two Westfield shopping centres in Shepherds Bush and Stratford welcome more than 66m visitors in 2013 with sales revenue up 3.1% to more than £2bn.
Paul Souber, Head of Central London Retail Agency, Colliers International commented: “The effect that international visitors have on London shopping is profound but it is important we don’t become complacent.
“A strengthening pound could leave London vulnerable to sudden change. As such, the capital must not forget the importance of domestic shoppers, and needs to keep focusing on building domestic shopping spend.
“Similarly, when the postponed business rates revaluation comes around in 2017 there will be a huge jump in rates bills. This could see the total cost of occupying stores rise substantially.”
Colliers International is a core sponsor of today’s (April 29) Completely Retail & Leisure Marketplace ‘dealmaking’ event in London which has attracted more than 1,500 retailers, developers and agents – a 40% increase in delegate numbers on the corresponding event last year.