Retail in the UK

The UK is set to become Europe’s leading luxury shopping market by 2018 ahead of France and Italy.

An overview of the UK's Retail sector

This is according to forecasts from retail research agency Conlumino which predicts that the value of the European luxury goods market will reach 96 billion GBP by 2018.

The UK also ranks third in the world for online business-to-consumer sales. UK consumers are early adopters and are open to new and innovative models of service delivery. They have the highest online spend per head in the world at over 3,500 USD per year.

London is the most popular city for investment in retail, featuring more international brands than in any other city in the world. London also offers a more complete retail picture than its global competitors. Brands have built up a long history of success in London thanks to a diverse, fashionable consumer base and a continued rise in tourism.

London is at the heart of the retail and fashion community with the iconic Oxford and Regent Streets at its centre. Other notable areas of interest include Redchurch Street, Kings Road, Lamb’s Conduit Street, Mount Street, Dover Street and New Bond Street encompassing international flagship stores, luxury boutiques, vintage shops, homeware, accessories and jewelers.

London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester feature in the top 20 for retail spend across Europe with Leeds, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Cardiff and Newcastle in the top 50. Each city has its own ecosystem and sub-sector strengths echoing the clusters in London.

Just 45 minutes outside of London is Bicester Village , which is the UK’s most upmarket retail outlet village. According to Bicester’s owners, retailers there have logged sales of 2,708 GBP per square foot in 2015, with a predicted rise to almost 3,000 GBP by 2016.

The UK enjoys a world-class reputation for its quality and innovation-driven retail industry. It is an early adopter of new technology and is a leading nation for using data applications like Metail which supply a virtual 3D fitting room for it’s customers.

Retailers based here have access to a rich heritage of traditional handmade brands like Trickers Shoemakers and the renowned bespoke tailors of Savile Row. High-fashion brands like Paul Smith and Burberry and E-commerce companies like Yoox Net-A-Porter, Alibaba and Etsy are also here.

The UK has a well educated and cosmopolitan workforce providing a high level of service with experienced managers who understand the retail landscape.