More and more international fashion retail chains at European Shopping Meccas
Tourists and customers find an extra ordinarily similar array of products, whether they shop on London’s Oxford Street, Paris’s Champs-Elysées or Milan’s Via Montenapoleone
The why is very easy to respond, because more international retail chains, such as Zara, Tommy Hilfiger and Starbucks, are opening outlets at these famous shopping locations.
According to CBRE Ltd. the influx of global brands has sparked concern about the direction of the Continent’s fashion hot spots. The danger is that the shopping streets will become homogenised, offering the same products.
A report by Jones Lang LaSalle remarks that London has the largest presence of international retailers across Europe, followed by Paris. More U.S. brands are showing up in London’s main shopping arteries, with retailers viewing London as a gateway to Europe. In 2013, U.S. apparel company J. Crew and U.S. home furnishing store West Elm opened the8ir first European outlet in London’s West End.
In 2013 Germany was Europe’s most targeted market for international retailers, states CBRE. Clothing was the strongest performing retail sector, accounting for 33 % of new leasing deals in Berlin in the first three quarters of last year.
The change is affecting traditional local businesses. In the vibrant historic centre of the German capital, near the famous Hackescher Markt, trendy clothing stores increasingly have been setting up shop where local restaurants and cafes used to be. As a consequence, artists and small retailers have been priced out. This has happened also in other European capitals. TextileFuture has recently reported in a Newsletter (January 14, 2014) on the situation in Spain (Madrid and Barcelona), also there bank and other agencies were driven away to give room to more fashionable retailers.
Virginia’s reflections: One has really to raise the question, if customers are not looking for something unique then the same products all over the world. We are all like to be individualists, but we wear all uniforms of a certain brand, the trend mentioned above is supporting this, too bad for local retailers trying to offer something that is special for the city, the state or the nation. It is funny, when it comes to eating, the motto is, vive la difference, why it is not also in the fashion area? Is it the power of the brands, their marketing strategies, media, ourselves? And another aspect, for people living in capitals or larger cities all of these famous shopping streets they are so desperately dead when the shops are closed, no activity, no choice of alternatives. Is that the ultimate consumer’s and local citizens’ dream?