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Chinese retail boom sees dramatic rise in world retail space

China’s massive retail drive has seen the amount of shopping centre space under construction around the world soar by 15 per cent in a year, according to research

A report by property firm CBRE calculated that 32 million m² of shopping centres was being built around the world in January 2013.

China is almost single-handedly driving this rapid development, accounting for half of the growth across the globe. Seven of the eight most active cities for shopping centre development are in the country, according to the report.

Chengdu, in China’s Sichuan Province, tops the list with 2.9 million m² under construction – more than that in 86 European cities surveyed outside Russia and Turkey.

While the Western market appears relatively saturated, strong growth was seen in Eastern cities including Istanbul, Moscow, Abu Dhabi, New Delhi and Hanoi.

Neville Moss, head of EMEA retail research at CBRE, said: ‘Prime space is in short supply in mature markets and retailers are increasingly turning to emerging, but increasingly promising, alternatives.

‘However, cross-border retailers continue to seek prime space and much of the new space in emerging markets is in peripheral areas of the large cities, appealing only to local retailers. In many cities, the mismatch between demand and supply has led to increasingly high rents in prime areas and high vacancies elsewhere.’

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