Taiwan is a developed market with a population of more than 23 million with GDP per capita of US$20,900.  Over the past few years, Taiwan has seen stable and sustainable economic growth, and the growth momentum is expected to continue as a result of the improved relationship with mainland China. In addition, the retail turnover (of department stores, supermarkets, or convenience stores and other) has also increased and thus brings up demand for retail property.

With a mere three hours flying time to seven major cities in Western Pacific on average, Taiwan is the hub in Asia-Pacific Region. The island is close to the global economic powerhouse, China, both geographically and culturally, and is dubbed gateway to China. The overall market benefits directly from The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and the relaxation of the individual Chinese visitors. Strait-hopping shopping and sightseeing tours have generated more opportunities for retailers than ever before.

The number of mainlanders visiting Taiwan had reached 7.25 million through the first three quarters of 2014 thanks to the individual Chinese traveller program. This huge influx is a boost to the retail sector as mainland tourists spend 80% of their budget on shopping. Given the visa-free entry and landing visa privilege, Taiwan is also an ideal travel destination for as many as 45 different nationalities, such as USA, UK, Far East nations and several European countries in addition to mainland.

These developments have the potential to help bolster retail sales, particularly for retailers of high-end or aspirational brands to which visitors are likely to be attracted, which suggests high-end department store chains could be among the beneficiaries. In addition to well-rounded legal framework, Taiwan also offers an environment that is conducive to foreign retailers.  Many international retailers are interested in exploring the Taiwan market.

ECONOMIC INDICATORS*20142015F2016F2017F2018F
GDP growth
Consumer spending
Manufacturing production
Unemployment rate (%)
Inflation 1.2-
NT$/€ (average) 0.02480.02900.03080.03150.0316
NT$/US$ (average) 0.03290.03220.03280.03360.0344
Interest rate Short Term (%)
Interest rates 10-year (%)

NOTE: *annual % growth rate unless otherwise indicated. E estimate F forecast
Source: Oxford Economics.

Population 23.45 MILLION (2015)
GDPUS$ 540.22 billion (2015F)
Public sector balance 13.6 % of GDP (2015F)
Parliament Legislators mainly from two political parties, i.e. Kuomintang and Democratic Progressive Party
Head of StateMa Ying-jeou
Prime Minister Mao Chi-kuo
Election datesJan 16, 2016
Retail Volume2.
Retail Value0.15pp

Source: Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan, R.O.C. & Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research

Taipei City2.70m
New Taipei City3.963m
Taichung City2.7167m
Kaohsiung City2.77m
Source: Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Taipei City Government, New Taipei City Government, Taichung City Government, and Kaohsiung City Government

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Taipei City: 25.091075, 121.559834
New Taipei City: 24.915712, 121.673937
Taichung City: 24.233208, 120.941737
Kaohsiung City: 23.010871, 120.666004



RT-Mart, Pxmart, Simple Mart, Taiwan Fresh Supermarket, a.mart, and Matsusei


Carrefour, Wellcome, Costco, City Super, Jasons Market Place


Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, Pacific Sogo, Far Eastern, Eslite Bookstore, Tsann Kuen, and E-Life Mall

INTERNATIONAL RETAILERS in Taiwan (a selection)

Ikea, Decathlon, Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, GAP, Zara, Uniqlo, H&M and Forever 21

Food & Beverage Operators

Din Tai Fung, N.Y. Bagels, McDonald’s, Burger King, MOS Burger, Mister Donut, Dante, and Starbucks


The major operators in Taiwanese retailing are generally multi-sector and often mixed goods retailers, with a number of major groups combining department stores with grocery retailing. While every city has a few of its own department stores, there are two major chains in Taiwan, with at least one store in each major city. Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, probably the most popular department store chain in Taiwan, is a joint venture between the Mitsui Company in Japan and the Shin Kong Group Taiwan. Sogo Department Store and FE21 (both owned by Far East Group in Taiwan) also have branches in major cities.

Responding to the increasing flow of Chinese visitors, one after another, name-brands set foot on this island. Issey Miyake’s menswear collection, Homme Plissé, chose The Mall as its first spot in Taiwan. One after another, H&M, Gap and Forever 21, three prominent fast fashion brands, opened their very first stores at Breeze Center Xinyi A10 and ATT 4 Fun respectively.

Food culture plays an essential role in Taiwan, and hectic lifestyle makes food-and-beverage outlets located in shopping malls and department stores even more popular. More and more people go to department stores or malls for dining rather than shopping. Department store operators are also viewing the F&B sector as a next rising star. Accompanied by increasing visitors and strong sales growth in department stores, many F&B operators, such as Din Tai Fung and Mister Donut, have enjoyed the growth and are planning to expand their horizon.

Another notable retail trend is the transformation of e-commerce practices. Nowadays, having only virtual platforms is insufficient for e-commerce companies to meet their distribution requirements. Keeping abreast of this trend, a number of companies in Taiwan are tapping into bricks-and-mortar channel and bring excitement to consumers with their shopping experiences as well as products. From clicks to bricks, Tokichoi, a renowned women’s clothing brand in Taiwan, has opened a few physical stores and perceived that offline presence gives them opportunity to reinforce their brand image.

In Taiwan, it takes about four to six weeks for a foreign company to set up a limited company or a branch office. A limited company set up by foreign investors is regarded as a domestic company and can enjoy the same right of acquiring real estate as a Taiwanese company without restrictions of the Principle of Reciprocity.

All in all, with increasing tourists especially from Mainland China, and the streamlined procedures for setting up a limited company or a branch office, Taiwan has ascended as a more attractive place for multinationals to come onto the retail market.


New Entrants to the Market

H&MBershka Forever 21GAPE-Land Group

Taipei 101Taipei 77,033 2003
Nanshan PlazaTaipei 46,281 expected to be completed by 2017
Pacific Sogo - FuxingTaipei 36,364 2006
Breeze CenterTaipei 36,000 2001
Shin Kong Mitsukoshi - XinYi A9Taipei 35,114 2003
Breeze Center Xinyi A3Taipei 33,058 2015
Shin Kong Mitsukoshi - XinYi A4Taipei 31,917 2005
BELLAVITA Shopping CenterTaipei 29,746 2010
The MallTaipei 20,500 1994
Pacific Sogo - DunhuaTaipei 10,390 1994

Lease TermsTypical lease is about 2 to 3 years. However, some brand name retailers may ask for a 5-year lease with an option to renew for another 3 to 5 years. A majority of shopping centers in Taipei charge “base rent” or “percentage rent”, whichever is higher. Break options are negotiated separately with landlords.
Rental PaymentUsually, rents are paid monthly or quarterly in advance by wire transfer or cash. Some landlords request tenants to pay 12 post dated checks in the beginning of each leasing year and landlord would cash one check every leasing month.
Rent ReviewUsually only available in long-term lease (more than five years) and occur every 3-5 years.
Service Charges, Repairs and Insurance - The tenant is responsible for fees incurred by internal matters or common parts, while the landlord is responsible for external or structural matters. The landlord insures the building. - Utilities charges in the common area shared by all tenants by lease area. - Moreover, in shopping malls, tenants need to pay the building management fee and marketing or advertising fee regularly.
Property Taxes and other costs Usually, local property taxes, including Land Value Tax and Building Tax, are borne by the landlord. As for the tenant, the VAT payable on rent is 5%, which is a deductible item when the tenant files and reports its sales tax every 2 months to the local tax bureau.
Disposal of a LeaseSubletting rights are negotiated separately with landlords. The right to assign the lease to a third party is rarely granted.
Valuation MethodsN/A
LegislationSection 5 (leasing) of General Provisions of Obligation of Civil Law.

Taiwan Contacts

Jasmine Wu

Research and Consulting
Cushman and Wakefield Taiwan