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Shoppers pick Manhattan

Los Angeles, Nov. 8 (Reuters): As far as the world’s richest shoppers are concerned, they’ll still take Manhattan — with Paris’ Champs-Elysees a poorer second.

The most expensive shopping district in the world remains a crowded but shimmering stretch of stores along three streets on Manhattan’s East Side, according to a study released yesterday.

After New York City, the most expensive retail districts by rent were the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris, Causeway Bay in Hong Kong and Oxford Street in London, the study said.

Seoul’s Myeondong area was the fastest-rising, big-city retail rental market, despite a slump that took some of the luster off the glitziest neighbourhoods of Hong Kong, Sydney and Tokyo, real estate services firm Cushman Wakefield said.

New York City shops on Fifth Avenue, East 57th Street and Madison Avenue pay more in rent than their gilded counterparts in Paris, London and elsewhere, the study showed.

“Despite the events of 9/11 and the slowing US economy, the top New York retail areas have experienced improved fortunes,” said David Gialanella, head of the firm’s national retail services.

Rents in Paris were up 14 per cent on the year to $577 per square foot, up 13 per cent in London to $434, but down 5 per cent in Hong Kong to $523.

The average rent per square foot on Fifth Avenue between 52nd and 58th Streets and East 57th Street to the corner of Madison Avenue was $700 in June, flat from a year earlier.

But around the corner, rent on Madison Avenue surged 25 per cent in the year to $650 per square foot, even as rent in luxury districts in Chicago and San Francisco held steady.

French luxury retailer Pierre Deux has tripled the size of its store on Madison Avenue, which is also the home to stores by Graff, Breguet, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Gucci and Chanel.

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