Retail in Asia


Hong Kong pipped by New York for most expensive retail destination in the world

Hong Kong has slipped to second place in global retail street rankings, with New York’s Upper Fifth Avenue ranked as the most expensive retail destination in the world in 2022.

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According to Cushman & Wakefield’s ‘Main Streets Across the World 2022’ report, which tracks the top retail districts across 92 cities and ranks the most expensive by prime rental value, the Big Apple’s Upper Fifth Avenue rents at USD 2,000 per square metre (sqm.) in 2022, up 7% on 2021, and up 14% pre-pandemic.

The North American shopping precinct has knocked Hong Kong off its perch as the city with the world’s most expensive retail strip for renting, a title it has held since 2019.

In 2022, the city’s Tsim Sha Tsui (main street shops) has come in second globally, at USD 1,436 per sqm., overtaking Causeway Bay as the most expensive precinct in the city-state.

Rounding out the top five, Via Montenapoleone in Milan jumped two positions to achieve third place, followed by London’s New Bond Street and The Avenues des Champs Elysees in Paris.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, Tokyo’s Ginza came in sixth place with retail rentals costing USD 945 per sqm., while Sydney’s Pitt Street came in a close eighth place, at $753.

South Korea’s Myeongdong ranked ninth, with Shanghai’s West Nanjing Road coming in tenth globally, maintaining the same positions as last year, respectively.

The Cushman & Wakefield report added that rents across global prime retail destinations declined by 13% on average during the depth of the pandemic but rebounded to just 6% below pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

The Americas, thanks largely the to the U.S., was the most resilient region, with average rents now sitting at a 15% premium to pre-pandemic levels.

However, in Asia Pacific, rents fell on average by 17%, impacted by international border closures, which curbed tourism in prime locations,

Hong Kong declined by an average of 45%, held down by ongoing social unrest which continued into 2020, geopolitical uncertainties and the drop off in mainland Chinese tourists as international borders closed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Likewise, other Asia-Pacific markets such as Sydney and Seoul— markets that rely heavily on international tourists—experienced declines of more than 20%, concluded the report.