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Nordic regions competing on the European stage for attractiveness to international retailers, says JLL


  • Sales growth in Helsinki expected to outperform the Eurozone in the medium term1
  • Stockholm is most attractive Nordic location for international retailers
  • The UK is the largest exporter of cross-border retail fascias into the Nordic region 
International retailer expansion is predicted to accelerate in the Nordic region over the next couple of years according to a new report from JLL. 

The Destination Nordics 2015 report analyses the expansion and presence of international retail brands in six key Nordic markets and reveals that despite significant market opportunity, the Nordic cities are relatively untapped.

International retailer expansion is predicted to accelerate in the Nordic region over the next couple of years driven by population growth2 and retail sales growth. The six key cities stand out as some of the most affluent in Europe, and they continue to demonstrate a high degree of market maturity, resilience and growth prospects, as well as real estate transparency and low risk. 

“Whilst many international brands continue to target key cities in Western Europe, some are finding themselves looking to new markets for growth. Those who are refocusing their expansion strategies are increasingly looking to the Nordics as a platform for growth. Over the last two years the key Nordic cities have attracted new entrants to their markets – at a greater rate than cities in Western and Southern Europe.” said James Dolphin, Lead Director of International Retail at JLL. 

With new schemes such as the Mall of Scandinavia and REDI entering the market and increasing supply, up to fifty international retailers are looking to target the Nordic market in the next five years. The UK is the largest exporter of cross border retail fascias across the Nordic region, driven by expanding mainstream and premium brands including The Body Shop, Lush, Oasis, Karen Millen, Mulberry and Superdry, followed by the USA and Germany. 
“Distribution of goods and foreign currencies which were once seen as major barriers to entry are now becoming less of a challenge. Competition between international brands is still relatively low and we are seeing success stories for new entrants such as Boggi Milano, Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton.” Dolphin added.

“It has been a record year for new brands in Sweden and there is currently high pressure to find store locations for the large number of international brands wishing to enter the market. We rank Stockholm as the Nordics’ most attractive retail destination thanks to its thriving market and affluent fashion oriented consumer base. But Oslo, currently the most affluent retail market in the region, has welcomed the largest number of international retailers in the Nordic region in the past two years - however it is currently constrained by lack of supply. Meanwhile, sales growth in Helsinki are expected to outperform the Eurozone in the medium term1.” Said Martin Lindgren, Head of Retail Agency, JLL Sweden. 

– ends –

Notes to Editors:
In the Destination Nordics 2015 report JLL ranks Stockholm as the most attractive destination in the Nordic region for international retail brands, followed by Copenhagen, Oslo, Malmo, Gothenburg and Helsinki. 

For further details on the comparative attractiveness of cities for international retails across Europe read JLL’s 2015 Destination Europe report which analysed 250 international retailers across 57 key European markets earlier this year.

1 According to Oxford Economics data
2 Nordics are one of the few regions in the Europe expected to see population growth

Links to other reading:
See our blog here for more information about why international retailers are flocking to the Nordics.