According to the survey "How Active are Retailers Globally?" issued recently by CBRE, global retailers still focus on international expansion in spite of ever increasing costs and uncertain economic prospects. In accordance, about 85pct of luxury & business fashion retailers and about 67pct of F&B ones show interest in expansion in Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. With 43pct retailers planning to expand business in APAC this year-end, the region became one of the most popular regions globally for store openings. According to Jonathan Hsu, Head of Occupier Markets Research, CBRE Asia, given the ongoing challenges retailers face, from cost escalation, successful delivery of omni-channels, and changes in consumer behavior, it is increasingly important for them to have a strong network of stores to effectively represent their brand. The cost to open a new store remains prohibitive, especially in prime areas due to the tight availability. However, rental growth will be slower this year as retailers remain relatively cautious, as well as taking longer on leasing decisions.