City breaks that break the bank

Wondering where to go on your city break next year? If it’s shopping you’re after, and the buzz and glamour of the big, international brands in particular, then Jones Lang LaSalle’s new report, Destination Europe 2013 is a must read.

The report unveils our new cross-border retailer index, which analyses the expansion and presence of 250 international retailers across 57 key European city retail markets. London comes out as the most attractive city, with Paris, Moscow, Milan and Madrid, all mature retail markets, comprising the remainder of the top five most attractive cities.

London is a springboard for many retailers who want to expand internationally. Several US and now Chinese retailers have started their European journey over the past few months in this way. More will follow, driven in part by Westfield’s successfully launched new shopping centres, continued demand for space in Bond Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Covent Garden, but also sustained market opportunity, tourism levels post the Olympics, political stability and a transparent real estate market.

However, with subdued economic growth in Western and Southern Europe, retailers are also starting simultaneously to look further east. Emerging growth markets provide attractive expansion opportunities. Rental levels are generally lower than in more mature markets and retail sales growth prospects are clearly stronger. St Petersburg (8th), Prague (9th), Istanbul (11th), Warsaw (19th=) and Kiev (23rd=) all therefore perform strongly in the index within this context. Central and Eastern Europe has more markets in the top 30 retail locations than Southern Europe. For mature retailers established in core European markets, Eastern Europe provides both growth opportunities and diversification.

So, plenty of tasty options there for the city breakers amongst you – just remember to take your credit card, and leave plenty of room in your suitcase…