While most European countries' retail sectors have been hit by the debt crisis, Stockholm's continues to buck the trend. Income from tourism has also grown. That combination makes Stockholm an attractive proposition for potential investors, explained Thomas Andersson, COO of Stockholm Business Region Development.
Can you provide more details about how Stockholm's retail sector is performing?
"Retail is booming. Compared to other European markets, which have been hit by the debt crisis, sales are steadily increasing in Stockholm. Many new retailers are establishing here, as the market starts to become more and more interesting for international brands.
"You also have many new shopping districts, malls and galleries in Stockholm, attracting brands, consumers and investors, both from mid-market to luxury designers.
"New and planned international openings in Stockholm include Sephora, Stella McCartney, Apple Stores, Hunkemöller and Hamleys."
How has Stockholm's tourist industry been performing?
"Last year's visitor numbers broke records and this year looks to be just as strong.
"Many new hotels have opened up in Stockholm recent years, and even more plan to do so. Still, there's demand for more."
What kinds of new hotels are in demand?
"The hotel market is dominated by Scandinavian-owned chains, but we want to add more international chains, with famous brands and loyal customers, to come in. There's also a need for budget hotels.
"There's a lot of interest from international companies, but there's a lack of available properties in the inner city. We hope that situation will improve."
What are this year's big events in retail and hospitality?
"The long hoped for Abba museum will open this year. It's a major international event and we expect the museum to attract large numbers of visitors.
"In April, the international retail conference ICSC Europe will be held in Stockholm for the first time. It's a great opportunity to network with retail chain managers and property developers.
"The new arenas that have been built in the city, like Fiends Arena and the Tele2 Arena by the Globe, will also attract a lot of big events to the city."
Between the years 2002 and 2011, the number of commercial guest nights at hotels, youth hostels, lodges and campgrounds in the County of Stockholm rose by 49 percent. That represents an annual growth rate of 4.5 percent. The number of guest nights is expected to rise on average by 4.1 percent between 2012 and 2020.