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Survey: 39% of Manhattan retailers are from outside the US

A first-of-its-kind survey of more than 900 existing retailers in three of Manhattan’s leading shopping districts has found a virtual United Nations of merchants originating from 26 countries.

Based on a detailed analysis of three key shopping districts, combined with in-depth research, the Cushman & Wakefield study found that nearly four out of ten retailers — 39 percent — originate in the global community outside the United States.

Retail experts from Cushman & Wakefield’s Research Center of Excellence analyzed SoHo, Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue, and subsequently determined the nations of origin of the three areas’ retail tenants.

While the 906 retailers are predominantly American, comprising 61 percent of the overall sample, Italians ranked second in each of the three retail districts.  Italians also came in second overall at 11 percent of the overall retail occupants surveyed.

Placing third overall was France, representing seven percent of the total. The U.K. ranked fourth and accounted for five percent of the surveyed retailers.

“Manhattan is a powerful, global magnet for retailers,” said Gene P. Spiegelman, Cushman & Wakefield vice chairman and Head of North America Retail Services.

“The world’s merchants vie to come here simply because they are able to expose their brand to such a vast number of customers,” he said. “In 2014, there were more than 56 million visitors to New York. In addition, 20 million people live in the New York metropolitan area.

“A retail presence in New York City has a potential audience of more than 76 million people per year. That kind of mega-audience makes this market irresistibly attractive to retailers worldwide.”

Noting that the SoHo survey sample is far larger than the other two districts, Cushman & Wakefield found that the area’s retail tenants originated from 24 countries.  Madison Avenue counted 13 countries, and Fifth Avenue totaled 17 countries of origin.

The SoHo district’s boundaries are between Avenue of the Americas and Broadway, and run from Grand Street to West Houston Street.  The Madison Avenue survey area runs from East 59th Street to East 72nd Street.  The Fifth Avenue district covers 42nd Street to 60th Street.

Spiegelman expressed special gratitude to Rafael Hernandez, a national retail associate with Cushman & Wakefield, who guided the survey.  Hernandez is an Iraqi War veteran with the U.S. Army who is studying real estate in the graduate program at NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.

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