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Chinese Retailers Choose UK for Investment

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London Property Investment  Savills  Chinese Property Investors  J Crew  Eve Enterprise Group  London retail expansion  Nick Bradstreet  Peter Thomas  Chinese investors in London 

Chinese Retailers Choose UK for Investment

By - Tuesday 20 November 2012

An increasing number of property investment deals in the UK could be brokered by Chinese retailers over the coming years, according to new research. Savills claims that London is poised to see a great deal of expansion from the country's entrepreneurs, with as many as five retailers looking for stores. This includes JNBY, Li Ning and luxury menswear brand Eve Enterprise Group.

Of the retailers with the highest annual turnover in China, including JNBY and Li Ning, several are already beginning programmes of extension, targeting European and US markets. Although less known in the UK, some of these brands are currently enjoying annual turnover similar to that of American retailer J Crew, which has just announced its first London-based store and brings in approximately GBP 990 million each year. According to Savills, some Chinese companies are also on par with American clothing giant Forever 21, which has an annual global turnover of approximately GBP 800 million.

Peter Thomas, director of central London retail at Savills, commented: "The potential for Chinese retail expansion in the UK came to the attention of London agents with the first entrant, Bosideng in July 2011. Whilst its one of China's largest clothing companies, our research has shown that its only ranked sixth domestically in terms of annual retail sales, meaning that while it was one of the first to land in London, it certainly won't be one of the last to take a store here."

With five of China's top retailers enjoying annual turnovers of over GBP 850 million for domestic turnover alone, it is unsurprising they have their sights set on key Western targets, including London. Nick Bradstreet, deputy managing director in Hong Kong, explained that there is now a long list of companies looking to expand to the capital because of its "reputation as an international shopping destination". With many Chinese shoppers awarding international brands greater credo than domestic companies, investment in UK property can prove lucrative for Chinese retailers both at home and overseas.

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