Tuesday, July 19, 2011

U.S. Retailers Shop for Space in Europe

NNN Lease Market News

U.S. retailers expanding abroad include some of the biggest names in the business. Banana Republic, for example, is expected to open its first French store this year. In 2010, Apple opened its largest flagship store in the world in London's Covent Garden. Fashion retailers Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors have built flagship stores in Paris.

The outlook is better in some countries than others. According to CBRE, the development pipeline is still "considerably smaller" than in 2007 and 2008 —the most recent peak in shopping-center development. But construction starts are rising in markets such as Turkey, Russia, and Poland. There are 146 shopping centers under construction in Europe today, says CBRE, and the highest level of activity is in Europe's emerging markets.

"The shopping center development market in Turkey has sprung back to life," Neville Moss, CBRE's head of retail research in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in a statement.

Another thing in Europe's favor is that American retailers are finding it easier to experiment and try new strategies in new markets than to revamp worn models at home.

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