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New York’s Fifth Avenue heads ranking of world’s top shopping streets

New York’s Fifth Avenue has retained its top position as the world’s most expensive shopping street in the world, according to Main Streets Across the World, an annual report by Cushman & Wakefield, the world’s largest privately held real estate services firm.

An average 1,000 square feet /93 square meter unit on Fifth Avenue, at its most expensive stretch near the junction with 57th Street, now costs around $1.35 million a year. Gene Spiegelman, Executive Director of Cushman & Wakefield in New York, comments: „The world’s top brands are jostling for position in this prime stretch of retail. This is not just about sales at the till, but about the brand value of retail real estate. In a world of advertising ‘clutter’, we see companies increasingly leveraging their brands through real estate and Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue is a prime example of this trend.”

The trend-setting Abercrombie & Fitch flagship at 56th Street and Nokia’s flagship on East 57th Street, which follows Apple Computer’s success at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, as consumers continue to pursue advances in technology and communication, are among this year’s most high-profile openings on Fifth Avenue. Waiting in the wings is what may be the world’s highest value retail lease - that of the former Asprey store at Trump Tower at 56th Street.

Main Streets Across the World 2005 tracks retail rents in the world’s top 233 shopping locations across 47 countries around the world. The report’s global league table is drawn up by taking the most expensive location in each of the countries monitored.

„In the global ranking the Váci street in Budapest appears from Hungary, which moved up two positions from the previous 30th to the 28th position this year. Váci utca is now at the same level at the main street in Sofia (Vitosh Blvd) in Bulgaria. It is interesting to see that rental fees on Debrecen Kossuth street are at the same level as those in Montevideo in Urugay.” commented Viktoria Szabo, Cushman & Wakefield, Associate.

John Strachan, Cushman & Wakefield’s Global Head of Retail, says: „Shopping is a global activity – from the main streets of Buenos Aires, to New York, Paris and New Delhi. Worldwide, the sector has seen a vibrant year, with new store openings, new formats, retailers entering new markets, in particular the emerging markets, and existing schemes being refurbished in more developed markets to cater for evolving consumer and occupier demand.”

The world ranking sees little movement at the top, with Hong Kong (Causeway Bay) retaining its second place and Paris (Avenue des Champs Elysées) its third place. The biggest riser is the Indian capital of New Delhi, with the most expensive location being Khan Market, having gone up 17 places to now be in 24th place. Other significant risers in the ranking are the Belgian capital Brussels (Rue Neuve), up five places to 23rd, and the Romanian capital Bucharest (Bulevardul Magheru), up six places to 30th, with activity boosted with Romania on track to join the European Union in 2007.

On a regional basis, Asia Pacific has seen the highest rental increases in local currency terms; rents are up 20% in the year to June 2006. India’s retail locations have all seen big rental increases, and, adds Sebastian Skiff, Cushman & Wakefield’s Head of Retail in Asia Pacific: „In China, the government has recently approved a significant number of applications by foreign retailers, unlocking the doors for a flood of new retailers entering what is one of the world’s most dynamic emerging markets.” Worldwide, rents rose or were stable in 97% of locations monitored, falling in only 3%.

Looking ahead, Darren Yates, Associate, European Research, Cushman & Wakefield, and the report’s author, says: „The demand for modern retail property will continue to grow worldwide, in particular with the opening up of large and increasingly wealthy consumer markets such as India, China, Brazil and Russia, where the demand for consumer goods is growing rapidly together with the need for top-class retailers and high-quality retail facilities.”