Which are the most dynamic commercial high streets in Europe?

Which are the most dynamic commercial high streets in Europe?

Translated by

Nicola Mira

Are the empty pavements of the Covid era a distant memory for the leading European shopping high streets? This seems to be the finding of the latest study by commercial real estate giant Cushman & Wakefield

Kalverstraat in Amsterdam – Shutterstock

The study also pitted the top commercial high streets in seven countries against each other. And the competition’s winner was Kalverstraat in the centre of Amsterdam, which recorded a 30% increase in footfall according to Mytraffic, whose study analysed footfall figures at various points of the streets in question. Stores located on the Dutch capital’s main shopping street, which extends for 750 metres between Dam Square and Muntplein, would on average see 726,000 pedestrians pass monthly by their shop windows. Although well known, Kalverstraat isn’t the busiest high street in the Netherlands, the title going to Leidsestraat. Cushman & Wakefield noted that Kalverstraat’s strong footfall growth was driven by greater tourist presence in the city. Following the pandemic, rents on Kalverstraat fell by about 20%, and several new flagship stores have been opened on the street since then, for example by AdidasJD SportsOakleyTissot

Another winner in this edition of the European high streets’ competition was Gran Via. The Madrid thoroughfare ranked first in terms of absolute footfall among the seven high streets examined by the study, with 1.923 million pedestrians passing by its shops each month. Gran Via was the busiest shopping street in Spain, ahead of Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona and calle Tetuán in Seville. Footfall in Gran Via increased by 26% over the previous year, and the street recorded various notable openings, for example that of the largest UniqloPeninsulaNike

Gran Via in Madrid – Shutterstock

The Champs-Elysées in Paris are on the upswing, having recorded a 15% footfall growth over last year, and a 131% growth over the past two years. “The world’s most beautiful avenue” was again able to generate a footfall of more than one million pedestrians per month, to the satisfaction of the stores overlooking it. In France, the Champs-Elysées were ahead of two other Parisian thoroughfares, boulevard Haussmann and rue de Rivoli, in terms of footfall. France’s top-five ranking was completed by rue de la République in Lyon and rue Masséna in Nice.

After the pandemic, many mid-market brands had left the Champs-Elysées, their exodus compensated by an influx of sport brands like Lululemon, while Foot LockerLVMHHSBC

For the number-four ranked street, the study headed to Milan and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. The shops in the Italian city’s central street benefited from a footfall of 906,000 pedestrians per month, up 6% over last year. Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, which links Piazza Duomo and Piazza San Babila, was the second-busiest Italian high street behind via del Corso in Rome and ahead of via Condotti, also in Rome. In recent months, Armani ExchangeCalzedoniaDisney

In Belgium, two of the country’s three busiest shopping high streets were in Antwerp. De Keyserlei ranked first, followed by Steenstraat in BrugesH&MEtamPink

Footfall slumps on Ku’damm and Oxford Street

Footfall in 40% of the high streets analysed in the study did not improve over the last 12 months, and the last two streets in the study’s top-seven ranking were among those. Footfall in Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm, known as Ku’damm, fell by 12%, with 688,000 pedestrians per month passing by its shops. While footfall in Oxford Street

The KaDeWe department store in Berlin – KaDeWe

Ku’damm is three kilometres long. It “can be split into an eastern section, including Tauentzienstraße, which is more focused on mass-market retail, despite the presence of KaDeWe; a central section, where rents are slightly lower, preferred by premium brands; and a western section, towards Halensee, home to luxury brands, where rents are the highest. In the central section, the Fürst complex is expected to be completed in 2023,” said Cushman & Wakefield, adding that Ku’damm, like the German retail sector as a whole, has been affected by the financial troubles that hit various footwear chains, as well as the Peek & Cloppenburg itling retier stnel ance & Gabbana ha

Over one million pedestrians passing by any store’s shop windows each month is a strong asset. Although sharply declining, Oxford Street is still a blue chip destination, and remains the UK’s number-one shopping street for footfall according to the study, ahead of Piccadilly Circus in London, and Princes Street in Edinburgh. Oxford Street is home to more than 300 stores between Hyde Park and Tottenham Court Road, and is undergoing a makeover. Several flagships have changed hands or are being renovated, as is the case for Marks & Spencer, werdry hatasylum isa ha

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