Hong Kong is still Asia’s most coveted city for global retailers wanting to expand into Asia.
A report from property company JLL shows Hong Kong leads Shanghai, with Singapore in third spot.
While Hong Kong’s high retail rents make entry into the market difficult, other barriers to entry remain low.
Shanghai is popular because retailers see it as a major market, a westernised environment and the perfect launch pad for expansion into greater China.
And Singapore appeals because of low barriers to entry, compact geographical market and efficient supply chain.
Singapore is seen as a hub for expansion into southeast Asian markets such as Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam and as an important market for building brand awareness.
On the down side, low vacancy rates in prime locations make it hard to find appropriate premises.
Tom Hamilton, director of retail with JLL Singapore said in 2015, his company expects continued growth of international brands entering the Singapore market, “but with very specific emphasis placed on sourcing stores in the strongest strategic locations”.