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Fifth Avenue Is Barely Clinging to Its Priciest-in-the-World Title

Tiffany & Co. Holiday Window Displays Ahead Of Earnings FiguresTiffany & Co. Holiday Window Displays Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Vehicles drive past the Tiffany & Co. flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York on November 26, 2016. Mark Kauzlarich — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Once again, in 2016 the most expensive shopping strip in the world was Manhattan’s Upper Fifth Avenue, where annual rent averaged $3,000 per square foot.

But the luxury nexus, which goes from 49th Street to 60th Street—and houses world-famous stores such as Tiffany & Co (TIF), Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman’s flagships—could be losing its grip on that mantle: in 2015, the average rent was $3,500, according to Cushman & Wakefield research.

“What we are seeing is a rebalancing of where sales are taking place between online and stores,” says Gene Spiegelman, vice chairman and head of the real estate firm’s retail services in North America. “There are substantial investments—where do you want to allocate your marketing dollars?”


At the same time, Trump Tower stands smack in the middle of the shopping strip, and constant street closings and barricades for at least the next four years won’t be good for business.

Of course, the shopping mecca is hardly washed up: Coach just opened a sprawling new emporium on Fifth at 53rd Street. But that store might prove to be the exception. Watch out, Fifth Avenue: Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay is within spitting distance of supplanting you.

A version of this article appears in the December 15, 2016 issue of Fortune with the headline “This May Be Peak Fifth Avenue.”