1) Tourists Love the Big Apple: A record 56.4 million people descended upon New York City in 2014, a 23% increase from only five years prior. And when tourists visit, they shop and spend money—that crowd generated a record $61.3 billion in overall economic impact. The City’s lofty goal: to attract 67 million annual visitors by 2021.
2) Everything Old is New Again: Worldwide trends have changed the nature of retailing in flagship markets like New York City. No longer are retailers operating under “open a store and they will come,” but giving shoppers a reason to visit their stores. Many retailers are harkening back to a tried-and-true measure that worked in department stores decades ago: incorporating restaurants into venues. From The Polo Bar at the Ralph Lauren store to classics like Fred’s at Barneys New York, retailers have made shopping an experience again—and consumers are sticking around even longer.
3) The Wolf of Wall Street: New York City is one of the most important financial centers in the business world today, joining cities like London, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Global retailers thus view the Big Apple as a place where they can not only garner robust retail sales, but strong brand exposure.
4) Exciting Retail Opportunities: The Meatpacking District has emerged as not only a restaurant-centric area, but a tourism magnet and cultural center with attractions like the High Line and Whitney Museum of American Art. With these come new infrastructure, hotels (like the Gansevoort, the Standard, Dream, and Maritime), residential buildings, office towers, and major commitments from giants like Google and Samsung. Retailers want to follow the business and residential boom, which will be further enhanced over the long-term by the opening of the massive Hudson Yards mixed-use neighborhood.
5) Safe Haven: The U.S. economy, in general, is a strong performer and is considered a safe haven for investors. Foreign capital is also attracted to the fact that the U.S. is nominally under one set of laws, despite the size and scope of our population—this makes the U.S. and cities like New York more appealing to the capital markets and retailers that want to open shop here.
For more information on the New York City Retail market please reach out to Bob Gibson, Vice Chairman, Retail, JLL.