It’s official – Leeds is the top choice for growing brands

Crowds flock to the Victoria Gate shopping centre, which opened in Leeds earlier this month.
Crowds flock to the Victoria Gate shopping centre, which opened in Leeds earlier this month.
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Leeds is the top choice for expanding international retailers, new research has found.

Two thirds of the brands monitored, including Michael Kors, Victoria’s Secret and Zara Home, chose Leeds for their early UK expansion, according to Colliers International’s National Retail Barometer.

The report is published as the city is preparing to jump to third on the UK’s regional retail rankings following the opening of the Victoria Gate shopping centre.

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The barometer tracked the openings of 10 international brands, across both luxury and mass markets, none of which had a significant UK presence prior to the 2008 economic downturn.

According to the report, Leeds was a first stop for six of the brands tracked, primarily a result of the opening of Trinity Leeds in 2013. The report was compiled prior to Victoria Gate’s opening which has seen even more retailers choosing the city for their expansion.

David Fox, head of retail agency (north) at Colliers International, said: “The opening of Trinity Leeds had a significant effect on the retail market and has acted as a catalyst, attracting many well-known brands to open regional debut stores in the city.

“With the opening of Hammerson’s Victoria Gate, it’s likely that we’ll continue to see that Leeds will remain a high priority location for brands looking to reach a regional audience. We’ve now seen Ghost and Bailey Nelson open their first stores outside London here, and Cath Kidston has also established a base in the city.”

Further findings showed that Meadowhall, Birmingham, Bath, Brighton and Guildford were top destinations for 40 per cent of the brands, whilst Manchester only attracted three out of the 10 names.

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