International retailers continue to find Australia as an attractive market for new store openings, according to research from CBRE.

The annual CBRE retailer survey 'How Global is the Business of Retail?' reported that six new international retailers entered the Australian market, with impressively refurbished ‘high street’ units helping Sydney to attract four of these traders. 

New entrants included Spanish fashion giant Zara which opened stores in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and Britain’s TopShop clothing chain which opened a flagship store on Chapel Street in Melbourne.

Joshua Loudoun, CBRE regional director of retail services, said the development of new prime stock had helped to create these entry opportunities.

“In Sydney, the latest phase of the Westfield centre has provided new space for flagship stores, which in turn has attracted other retailers to the area.  Interest in Perth and Brisbane is also increasing as luxury brands target the new found wealth in these cities derived from the mining and natural resource industries,” he said.

Luxury and business fashion retailers were the most global in nature, with 80 per cent having a presence in all three global regions. Luxury brands Burberry and Louise Vuitton both launched new stores in Sydney last year.  In Brisbane, Hermes and Chanel opened new stores, while Louis Vuitton expanded their presence and Apple announced it will open in the historic MacArthur Chambers.

“Australia is in the top 10 of markets that North American retailers target and although historically we rarely featured on the radar of the major international retailers, more recently they’ve seen strong sales in their Australian stores, providing encouragement to other retailers looking to expand,” Loudoun said.

“We’ve also seen a number of Australian retailers expanding abroad, with brands such as Cotton On (Germany), Peter Alexander and Smiggle (Asia), Oroton (Singapore and Malaysia) and Theobroma Chocolate Lounge (UK) all opening new stores in the last 12 months. ”

Australia ranked 30th of the 73 countries examined for international retailer presence, attracting 28.8 per cent of all retailers included in the study.  This was slightly up from 27.3 per cent the previous year.  Melbourne leads the capitals with 25.6 per cent of retailers present followed by Sydney (24.3%), Brisbane (17.3%), Perth (13.6%) and Adelaide (11%).