The UK is the country which attracts the most international retailers, with 58% of non-UK retailers surveyed present in the country, according to CB Richard Ellis’s second annual cross border retail survey.

CBRE surveyed 280 retailers across 67 countries for the How Global is the Business of Retail report, looking at both national and city levels, highlighting differences between sectors and regions and identifying trends in global retail expansion.

It found almost half of all retailers in the survey had some presence in each of the three main global regions. However, the globalisation of retail is still in relatively early stages.

It also found Europe is the most international retail market, all five of the largest European economies are ranked within the top eight international retailer destinations.

It found luxury retailers and those from the clothing/footwear sectors are significantly more international than retailers from other sectors. Luxury retailers are typically present in over 27 countries, compared with an average of just over 14 countries for the other retailers in the sample.

But Peter Gold, head of cross border EMEA retail, said: ‘Luxury retailers are the most mobile but they tend to take just one store in the capital city of each country and have fewer stores per country.’

It also found London is the dominant retail city, attracting almost 60% of all retailers in the survey. Paris and New York rank second and third respectively, with Dubai in fourth place.

Gold said that retailers from all sectors continued to expand their global footprint during 2008 despite a rapid weakening in business sentiment and increased risk aversion in response to the global economic downturn.

Gold said that for some retailers, the current environment may offer unprecedented opportunities to seize market share, through organic growth or acquisition of weaker competitors.

The report said that: ‘Tactically, retail expansion needs to be viewed in the context of a very difficult trading environment. Many retailers are likely to delay their international expansion plans, at least temporarily, until the economic and financial outlook is less uncertain.’