London’s visitor numbers are soaring and it’s having a positive effect on the capital’s economy. The latest report from Savills “World and London” report says 18.8m international visitors are contributing $24bn to the annual tourist spend. That money, the report says, is attracting major international brands to the capital.
London’s always been a great place to shop; anyone who’s spent time in Covent Garden or Regent Street can tell you that. And London’s also home to international names recognised the world over when it comes to retail, from Liberty to Harrods. Yet the influx of foreign spenders from the UAE and China are developing the capital’s luxury market. These retail tourists are spending on average £1000 per transaction. China is huge consumers of luxury goods worldwide and the relaxation of visas for Chinese visitors to the UK is predicted to see even more spend in the UK capital on luxury goods.
That demand is bringing with it new names from the luxury market. New international brands, in demand from these UAE and Chinese consumers, want to open in London. This is having a powerful effect on London’s retail market itself. Space is at a premium in traditional retail areas like Bond Street or Oxford Street so these international brands are having to look elsewhere and are opening up new retail markets in the capital. From Westfield to Spitalfields, Covent Garden to Marylebone High Street, the enclaves for luxury brands are expanding out of the traditional postcodes.
After over a quarter of a century in London, Clarendon has seen the capital change and evolve a great deal. It never stays still and new areas of the capital grow and surge in popularity, from the emergence of the Southbank and its cultural regeneration to Borough Market and around Covent Garden. London will not, and cannot, stay still. Providing extended stay accommodation, as Clarendon does, the challenge is always to identify the areas of the capital where people will want to stay, to spot the growing trends and the postcodes with burgeoning economies ideal for temporary workers and those looking for serviced apartments either for business or leisure.
What will this influx of foreign retail spend do to the capital? It will open up new pockets and proffer renewed investment and growing economies in certain areas. Brands buy bricks and mortar. With them come cafes, bars and restaurants along with other leisure pursuits. Where there was once just a shop in a few years’ time there will be a busting economy. As that develops and expands so businesses begin to open, offices, apartments, residents. This continuing cycle is part and parcel of what happens in London, year in and year out.