The UK has emerged as the preferred destination for leading retailers, which are planning to expand their store network in 2017, according to a research report released by global property advisory firm CBRE.

In a survey, 65 per cent of the retailers said that they would like to expand their network of stores in the UK over any other country in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Asia) and African markets. While France was second in the preference order with 43 per cent of the retailers opting for it, Germany was third at 38 per cent. The UAE and Spain completed the top five rankings in the survey.

The survey findings indicate the health of the UK economy, which is stabilising gradually following Brexit in mid-2016. Investors have reposed faith in London, which is one of leading shopping destinations for international travellers, tourists and HNWIs. High street fashion brands and ultraluxury brands are omnipresent in London and the CBRE findings are an encouraging sign for the UK property sector.

In the commercial property segment, retail stands next only to industrial in annual absorption rate. In London, retail accounts for the biggest segment in prime central London.