Skip to content

UK remains most international retail market in the world

CBRE's study mapped the global footprint of 280 of the world's top retailers across 67 countries, exploring the globalisation of the retail industry at national and city levels. The UK outperformed other major European economies such as Spain, France, Germany and Italy to take the number one position. Although Europe continues to dominate the top markets, emerging economies such as China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates have gained significant ground in the past 12 months.

Thailand came in at 30th out of 67 countries, behind regional competitors such as China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, but ahead of places such as Australia, Indonesia, India, the Philippines and Vietnam. 27% of the 280 retailers tracked in the study have a presence in Thailand, whereas 58% are present in the UK, and 36% are present in Singapore. Thailand scored particularly highly in terms of new store openings in the clothing and footwear sectors and also in terms of new luxury sector entrants.

Despite being one of the largest and most established retail markets in the world, the United States surprisingly only registered in 10th position globally, with 39% of international retailers present. This is partly due to the fact that US retailers tend to penetrate their vast national market extensively before considering international expansion.

Mr. Nithipat Tongpun, Executive Director of CB Richard Ellis Thailand, commented "Despite the global economic slowdown, many retailers have continued their expansion plans throughout the past 12 months. Interestingly, 40% of all new store openings in 2008 were outside the retailer's home region.

"It remains to be seen whether the expansion into emerging markets will be sustained through 2009 and 2010. Yet the globalisation of the retail industry is undoubtedly an ongoing long-term trend which is not going away."

The report also analysed which types or categories of retailers have the strongest international presence, and found that luxury retailers dominate global retail in terms of their footprint around the world. An astounding 90% of luxury retailers have a presence in more than 10 markets and 40% are present in more than 30 countries.