The Christmas Days are imminent, so you have to hurry up to get all your presents together. Christmas markets and special offers beckon all over the place. A walk into the city centre is, for most of us, a must in the next two days and the shops are often visited repeatedly until every present has been bought.
Classic retail in Germany is coming under increasing pressure. On the one hand, online retailers such as Amazon, eBay or Zalando increasingly diminish the turnover proportion of over-the-counter trade. On the other hand, many well-known chain store companies and fashion brands, which originally found success on traditional high streets, are continuing to expand their online activities and are committing heavily to a multi-channel strategy. The line between over-the-counter and online generated turnover therefore is becoming even more blurred.
Increasing visitor numbers in Hamburg
The city of Hamburg however appears fairly unfazed by all this. Retail sales and visitor numbers are increasingly steadily and the demand for retail space is considerably greater than the short term supply in the city centre. “This results in the highest rents in the sought-after locations continually rising, though admittedly slowly. On the other hand, the city’s previously less popular second class locations and periphery areas such as Gänsemarkt, Dammtorstrasse and Colonnaden, Hohe Bleichen, Poststrasse and Große Bleichen and also the south western section of Neuen Wall up to Stadthausbrücke are attracting the attention of project developers and retail land lords”, explains Henning Hansen, Retail Services Manager at Engel & Völkers Commercial Hamburg. The main drivers of this development, on the one hand, are designer labels from the luxury fashion industry as well as renowned manufacturers of branded products. On the other hand, there are the renowned brand manufacturers from the mid to upper end of the consumer market such as Nivea, Apply, Lacoste as well as the recent lettings in the Rimowa store and at Michael Kors in Neuen Wall.
Trend: Mono-brand stores
The aim of these mono-brand stores is not primarily to maximise sales. More often, the shops usually serve as marketing instruments in order to build the brand in the market and to keep it at the forefront of the minds of customers. It is crucial for this strategy to expedite the company’s total turnover across all retail channels – online via their own or other portals as well as offline via classic boutiques.
It is undeniable that these brands represent an attractive lure both for visitors from Hamburg’s metropolitan area as well as for tourists looking to shop, both domestic and foreign. They therefore make an important contribution to ensure that Hamburg, with its diverse mix of different retail forms and location qualities, remains lively and that the city centre thus strengthens overall.
Would you like to join the Christmas rush in Hamburg’s city centre? Use our contact form, we look forward to seeing you at our Engel & Völkers headquarters at Stadthausbrücke!