Singapore Emerges as One of the Top Global Cities for International Retailers

Singapore has over the last few months been in the news over its sluggish economy. The announcement that the city is among the top destinations for International Retailers has thus given a respite to investors in the real estate market who are keen to welcome international partners. Singapore has appeared among the 7th highest appealing cities to launch shop for premium luxury brands. This is according to consultancy JLL’s Index released in May 2016.

The report by the property gurus cited Singapore’s strategic position in Asia and ideal business climate as the main reasons international retailers are drawn to the city. The other factors that are cited in the Index report include the a strong domestic purchasing power, large number of expatriates currently standing at almost 30% of the population and the influx of tourists looking for the perfect holiday shopping destination.

The JLL’s report cites Orchard Road as the major shopping area with modern malls including the recently enlarged Plaza Singapura, Mandarin Gallery, Ion Orchard and Orchard Gateway among others. All these host global retailer brands. Top brands in the retail market include Vacheron Constantin, Marimekko, Villeroy & Boch and Jack Wills, among others. From premium restaurants, deluxe boutiques to emerging labels the retail market has matured with age and more brands are expected to troop in.

The Marina Bay development has also seen the development of new malls including The Shoppes at Marina Sands and Suntec City Mall among others. Other cities international retailers find attractive include London which topped the JLL’s Cross Border Retailer Attractiveness Index and Hong Kong at number 2. Other Asian cities in the Index include Tokyo which is 4th, Shanghai at 6th, Beijing at 9th and Osaka and Taipei which tie at 10th.

This Index comes in the backdrop of a similar CBRE’s annual survey which had rated Singapore 10th in a survey of top 20 cities with the largest presence of international retailers. The city is also the most targeted market in the region by European brands followed by Beijing and Shanghai.

These ranking highlight the place of Singapore in Asia’s financial market with international brands seeking to test the popularity of their products in an already established market. The large presence of expatriates and sophistication in the city’s fashion culture has also helped adoption of new trends and this is what international brands are leveraging. The city continues to be the entry point for most global retailers.

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