According to data from fDiMarkets,the number of FDI projects in the retail sector in the first 11 months of 2011 was 13% lower than in the same period in 2010. Retailers seem to be hedging their bets. China is now the number one destination country for retail projects after experiencing a modest 2% rise in projects.

Spain, the number one destination country for retail FDI in 2010, fell to fourth in the global rankings after an almost 40% decline. The UK, Germany and France all suffered as well, with declines of 19%, 30% and 51%, respectively, in 2011.

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On a positive note, Poland had an influx of foreign retailers setting up shop in the country with a 60% rise in retail FDI projects. Perhaps surprisingly given its financial troubles, Ireland experienced an 11% rise in retail FDI projects.

Although the UK as a whole suffered a sharp decline in the number of retail FDI projects in 2011, London still remained the top destination city, with more than double the number of retail FDI projects than its closest rival Hong Kong.

Western Europe accounted for 27% of retail FDI projects globally during 2011, followed by Asia-Pacific with 22%. Africa accouted for just 3% of global FDI in retail, with Latin America accounting for 6%.