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New York City Named World’s Top Shopping Destination—Again

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New York City taxi

New York City is still the place to go for brand names and bargains.

According to the latest Global Retail Destination Index from real-estate service provider Savills, the so-called city that never sleeps ranked number one in the world for shopping sojourns.

Savills, which partnered with The Retail Group to deliver this benchmarking report, said New York’s position was driven by its top-ranking “perception” score (think: quality of shopper services, facilities, marketing) and its strong “physical” score, which drew on data related to what makes a city attractive to both visitors and retailers.

Not to mention, New York’s retail sales volume played a huge part in helping the city’s status, too.

The report cited figures from Oxford Economics that put New York’s retail sales at around $258.3 billion in 2015, a number that’s set to grow 2.9% per year on average through to the end of 2020.

This corresponds with MasterCard’s recent Global Destination Cities Index, which found that in 2015, New York attracted 12.3 million visitors from overseas who spent a total of $17.4 billion. The average spend per visitor was $1, 416.

Furthermore, consultants Altagamma & Bain estimated that New York had the highest level of personal luxury goods spend in 2014, totaling $24.9 billion—twice that of second and third placed Paris and London with $12.6 billion and $11.3 billion respectively.

Aside from tourists, New Yorkers themselves spend a lot: around $13,000 per resident annually.

Despite getting stiffed with some of the world’s most expensive rents (Fifth Avenue’s average occupational costs are $3,900 per square foot), the city’s retailers are pleased. When Savills asked if they were happy with current trading performance, more than 90 percent said they were satisfied to very satisfied. However, the group partially attributed this high score to “a certain level of cultural over-optimism.”

With that being said, Savills said London is catching up. Retail sales growth in the British capital city is forecast to be 2.9% per annum through 2020, while its population is expected to grow by 1.2% annually over the next five years. By comparison, New York’s populace is projected to increase by only 0.5% per year during that time.

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