Posted by: Colin Chan
Retail Research & Consulting
JLL EMEA Research
This week we launched our new report, ‘Hospitality and Service: Driving business investments through a thriving luxury destination’, which focuses on the importance of the ‘beyond retail’ offering in The London Luxury Quarter.
The launch took place in the grand surroundings of the Ritz, the symbol of British grandeur. Walking into the foyer I was struck not only by the glamour of a bygone age, but also by the many international visitors that were there. Indeed, this is one of the key focuses of the report: How does the London Luxury Quarter stay traditional and quintessentially British, yet maintain its reputation as a magnet for overseas investment and visitors?
With 18 five star hotels, 31 Michelin starred restaurants and 45 private members clubs this area contains some of the UK’s finest hospitality and service experiences. Our report examines the strong relationships between businesses, hotels, restaurants and retailers situated in some of London’s most prime real estate. It is these relationships and collaboration that help give the Quarter its unique DNA and often drive innovation. Some examples include Claridges providing hotel guests with the loan of a Burberry trenchcoat for the duration of their stay, and also providing the opportunity for the likes of luxury retail brands such as Dior and Lanvin to produce a Christmas tree for the hotel’s grand entrance.
The report highlights the average spend per visit from Chinese, Qatari and Saudi Arabian visitors is upwards of £1,350. One of the key messages was the importance of ensuring that visitors from China, who have the highest average spend per visit, are aware of all the amenities and services available within the Quarter. Being a second generation, Irish born Chinese I was particularly struck by the comment from Andrew Love, Deputy Chairman of The Ritz Club at the launch. He commented on how some staff at The Ritz London are currently being taught mandarin to make Chinese visitors feel at home, another great example of innovation and adapting to the continually changing market within The Quarter.
The report and the participants at the launch both came to the same conclusions: London Luxury Quarter is great at keeping up to date with changes in the market and is able to offer innovative solutions, which is why it remains the prime location it is. However, changes such as the Crossrail development will draw in affluent consumers from across London and South East, in addition to a wider demographic. For the Quarter to maintain its prime position, investment in the hospitality and service sector needs to be maintained to ensure businesses, retailers and visitors continue to be attracted to this unique area located at the heart of London.
Colin Chan is a Senior Analyst in JLL’s European Retail Research & Consulting team. He is an expert in location and demographic strategy and works with his investment and agency colleagues advising international investors and occupiers on their retail real estate strategy across the UK and Europe.