That’s according to CBRE Group Inc.’s 10th annual study of international retail expansion, which surveyed 166 cities across 51 countries regarding how many international retailers had debuted in their markets in 2016. The survey found that retailers’ expansion into new markets increased by 2% in 2016, down from 3.1% in CBRE’s 2015 study.
United States retailers were the most active by a wide margin, aided perhaps by the dollar’s strength relative to other currencies. Of all expansion at city level, 21% was by U.S. retailers. The next most aggressive were Italian retailers at 12%, and French retailers at 11%.
“U.S. retailers’ expansion abroad is aided significantly by their strong brands and execution, especially for food and beverage operators,” said Brandon Famous, CBRE senior managing director and retail leader, the Americas. “The U.S. retail market is relatively mature and somewhat crowded, so several American retailers instead are targeting Europe, Asia and the Middle East for much of their expansion into new markets.”
The report cited retailers’ adjustment to the growth of e-commerce and shifting exchange rates as being behind the overall decline in global expansion.
“As e-commerce grows, retailers have become more deliberate and meticulous about how many stores they open and where they do so,” said Anthony Buono, chairman of CBRE’s global retail executive committee. “Their global expansion favors the tried-and-true global gateway…