Germany is where retailers want to be.
According to a study released Wednesday (March 4) by Los Angeles-based commercial real estate company CBRE, 40 percent of the retailers surveyed named Germany as their No. 1 target market. The U.K. was ranked second, with 33 percent of retailers saying they would be interested in expanding there, and France was the third-most targeted market at 31 percent.
The Wall Street Journal quotes CBRE as explaining that "global retailers continue to be attracted to Germany largely due to the opportunity to target more than 30 large cities with high purchasing power."
As for the retail appeal of France, CBRE attributes it to the country's “mature market with several strong cities and a large number of very successful shopping centers across the country" -- in particular Paris, according to the WSJ. Additionally, retailers polled cited recently curbed restrictions related to business operations on Sundays in France as making the region of particular interest.
CBRE's report, titled "How Active Are Retailers Globally?," examines the global expansion ambitions of retailers based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the Americas and Asia-Pacific (APAC). The results this year show that U.S.-based retailers are most interested in expanding to the Asia-Pacific region, with approximately 43 percent of them exploring growth in Japan, China and Hong Kong.
Germany's appeal reached 47 percent specifically among retailers based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. For retailers in the Asia-Pacific, South Korea is the most-desired country for expansion, with 50 percent of that demographic indicating it as their top choice.
Worldwide, the CBRE report shows that retail brands based in Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. are the most active in overseas expansion; the three regions are each home to 16 percent of companies that are exploring cross-border growth. Italy is also active, hosting 11 percent of the brands that are looking to expand.
The report also shows that 85 percent of luxury and business fashion retailers are eyeing Asia-Pacific, while 78 percent of mid-range fashion retailers are considering movement into Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
According to CBRE, 47 percent of those surveyed said "cost escalation" and "unclear economic prospects" were their biggest concerns in 2015.