Nov 14 - Retail rents in many of the world's most exclusive shopping streets are rising thanks to a growing appetite for luxury brands. As Hayley Platt reports London seems to be one of the capitals benefiting the most.
London may not have the best weather but that isn't putting off wealthy shoppers. New Bond Street has just risen from sixth to fourth in a survey of the world's most expensive shopping streets. It's largely because it has the right retailers says Mark Burlton of Cushman & Wakefield. SOUNDBITE: Mark Burlton, Head of Cross-Border Retail, Cushman & Wakefield "A great street on the luxury sector needs to have a representation of certain key brands from the likes of Louis Vuitton, LVMH Group, Richemont, Geering and a number of independent luxury retailers from France and Italy and increasingly from Asia as well." Retail rents along New Bond Street have risen by 15%. And globally they remain resilient - the average increase for prime locations was 3.2% Hong Kong's Causeway Bay retain's the top spot as the world's most expensive retail space - every square foot there costs $3,000. New York's Fifth Avenue follows close behind - prime rents in the Americas are up almost 6% No change for Paris' position despite a 40 percent rise in rental values But Japan lost out to London dropping down to fifth place. SOUNDBITE: Mark Burlton, Head of Cross-Border Retail, Cushman & Wakefield "I think it tells us that there is a strata of society which is relatively immune to anything else which is going on around it. If you like the rich will always be rich and that being fuelled by the increase in tourism particularly from China is exacerbating that trend." Recession has hit many parts of the world - particularly austerity-hit Europe. But the luxury goods market - worth an estimated 290 bln dollars - has repeatedly bucked the trend. And there's no sign that will change. Sales for 2013 are expected to rise by 2 percent, with the Americas growing faster than China. But the Chinese are still the biggest buyers, making 29 percent of all luxury sales. And most of that is done abroad. China's domestic market is down 20 percent on last year and is only expected to grow by two and half percent.