London 'Europe's most attractive cross-border retail destination'
International retailers that want to enjoy a prestigious presence could find opening London offices helps them with this goal.

CoStar UK has published the findings of a new Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) study, which noted London is the leading cross-border retail hub in Europe, followed by Paris and Moscow.

The survey of 55 cities on the continent discovered that retailers plan to continue their expansion projects, even during the current financial climate. Expansion will be targeted and for the long term.

Other destinations rounding off the top ten include Madrid, Milan, Prague and Munich, followed by Istanbul, Barcelona and Rome.

The UK's capital also attracted the largest number of retailers that operate on an international basis, while the country was second in terms of the export of retail formats, the property publication noted.

One British organisation that recently decided to focus on its retail portfolio is Hammerson. It announced alongside its February 24th full-year financial results that it wants to offload its London offices in order to specialise in retail space.

Chief executive of Hammerson David Atkins said its retail strategy would expand across Europe and that its move should not be seen as an indication that London's commercial property market is in any way suffering.

"We still have a good office portfolio that we are going to work up and generate value out of. It is really setting the direction of the company over the next few years," he added.

A JLL report published at the start of last month showed there was $410.6 billion (£259.5 billion) of direct commercial property investment in 2011, with London the most active city for transactions in the world.

It beat New York, Paris, Tokyo and Singapore to the top spot, with $24.3 billion of transactions recorded. This represents a 15 per cent increase on 2010.

Posted by Sarah Dudley

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