Belfast Telegraph

City still a draw for world's top retailers

By David Elliott

International retailers have remained committed to Belfast over the last year.

A survey by CBRE showed the city saw its share of international retailers climbed to just over 20% in 2010 from 19.5% in 2009.

It was ranked 103rd in the global ranking of the most attractive cities for international retailers to do business.

The report, How Global is the Business of Retail?, showed mid-range retailers were the most prevalent alongside those specialising in value and denim.

CBRE said 24% of mid-range retailers surveyed were operating in Belfast in 2010, while 33% of value and denim retailers maintained a presence in Belfast in 2010.

A further 21% of international consumer electronic retailers were operating in the city in 2010 and there is also significant exposure to specialist retailers, with 18% of international specialist retailers maintaining a presence in Northern Ireland's primary metropolitan region.

Attracting more than half (56%) of all international retail brands surveyed, Dubai now equals London as the most popular retail city in the world.

Dubai and London are followed in the rankings by the established markets of New York (44.3% of international retailers), Paris (43.6%), and Hong Kong (40.6%), which clearly still hold considerable global pulling power.

The composition of the rest of the top 20 comprises a mix of traditional and emerging markets, providing an indication of how global international retail really is.