Retailers to continue EMEA expansion in 2012 despite economic challenges

Large scale expansion is still on the agenda for international retailers next year in spite of the challenging consumer environment and an increasing share of shopping being done online, according to new research from CBRE.

Nearly three quarters of international retailers (71%) are planning to open more than five stores in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region by the end of 2012, with 20% of retailers looking to open 40 stores or more in 2012 compared to 18% in 2011.

CBRE’s annual research report - How Active are Retailers in EMEA? - reveals that retailers are targeting a wide range of countries in both mature and emerging markets in 2012, but are largely focused on opening stores in countries where they already have a presence – a similar strategy to that adopted in 2011. For the first time, Italy leads the way as the most targeted country for retailer expansion moving up from eighth place in last year’s rankings. Italy is followed by Germany, Russia, Spain and France, to make up the top five 2012 retailer hotspots, with more than 30% of retailers targeting each country.