CHICAGO—Asian retailers increasingly want the world to see them as global players, and in order to reach that milestone, many have come to the conclusion that they need outlets on the West Coast. Establishing themselves there, however, may take some time, since Asian business owners remain cautious and want to make sure they fully understand local market conditions in the US before taking the plunge.  

“They want to be there because the West Coast, especially Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, have a very strong retail scene,” Thomas Gaffney, the Hong Kong-based head of retail for JLL, tells However, the West Coast only forms one part of an American strategy, since at the same time most of these retailers also believe it’s important to establish outposts in other core US cities such as New York and perhaps Chicago.   

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