Country Spotlight: France

France has become a prominent market for us at Foundation Recruitment; our international team is growing and we now have two fluent French consultants specialising in France retail real estate. We are now proud members of the CNCC and will be attending the SIEC conference this month to start our membership!

With the upcoming election, we have seen a lot of speculation and discussion on how this will affect the shopping centre sector. However, with the amount of work we are seeing coming through, it is indicating a strong and confident market.

In Q4 2016, job creation reached 70,000; this is the fasted growth since 2007. This indicates rising employment, which suggests increased consumer spending power resulting in increased sales for retailers.

In terms of retail development, France was the most active country in Western Europe in H2 2016 and according to Cushman and Wakefield, France can expect 931,000 sqm of retail space to be delivered 2017-18. On a city basis; Paris, Marseille, Helsinki, Madrid and London are the top 5 Western European development markets – two out of the top five being French cities demonstrates the countries strength.

Some developments to be completed this year include:

From an investment view; investor interest remains steady reaching €400 million in Q1 2017. Even with the development pipeline seeming strong from the stats above, investors are keen to deploy capital and there is a lack of supply.

There are an increasing number of international brands entering the French market, an example being Amorepacific’s cosmetics brand Sulwhasoo. Sulwhasoo will open an independent store at France’s largest department store chain, Galeries Lafayette, this September. With consumer spend rising, more developments being constructed and investor interest high it would foresee centres having strong leasing demand from tenants.

The market appears buoyant despite the uncertainty of the election. Developments are underway; international brands are entering the market wanting to lease shopping centre space and investor interest is showing confidence. We’re looking forward to seeing how the market develops further over the coming months and years!

Kat Whitehead, Senior Marketing Executive, Foundation Recruitment 

Foundation Recruitment staff portraits

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