Many retailers are being smarter today about opening new stores across the globe, precipitating in a cooling off of international expansion, according to a new report from CBRE.
In surveying 47 countries and 123 cities globally, the commercial real estate service firm determined retailers' growth across boarders into new markets fell 2.9 percent in 2017 from the previous year.
"You have to start with ... because of the demographic shifts around the world, there is less need [for new retail] based on population growth," where populations have steadily become more dense, Spencer Levy, head of research at CBRE's Americas division, told CNBC. "Second, yes, there is some e-commerce disruption in the space," which has prompted companies to be more "cautious" about opening new stores.
Still, just because businesses are being more deliberate about their growth doesn't mean they're not growing at all.
U.S.-based brands in particular were the most active in 2017, CBRE found. Companies like Freddy's and Peleton targeted more than 40 different markets last year — blanketing across the Middle East and Japan — to branch outside of America.
"It speaks to the maturity of the U.S. market," Levy said.
That said, the U.S. wasn't the hottest market for new entrants — that title fell to Hong Kong for the third year in a row. Next in line were Dubai, Taipei, London and Tokyo, which all drew at minimum 45 debuts by global retail brands throughout 2017, according to CBRE's research.
Thirty-two global retailers entered the U.S. in 2017, CBRE found. That included 14 businesses from Europe and 14 from Asia. Examples are Italian luxury shoe brand Bruno Magli, Paris fashion line Faith Connexion, along with a number of European and Asian cosmetics businesses. There was also the Nutella Cafe, curated by Italian chocolate manufacturer Ferrero International, which made its debut on Chicago's Michigan Avenue last year.