With the UK set to axe the duty-free shopping for tourists regime in December, there are already signs that rival locations will step up their efforts to attract shoppers who might have previously visited Britain.
France is the most popular country for ‘elite shoppers’ to visit with the UK in second place, but these ultra-high-spending consumers are spending more on average in Britain than in its neighbour, a new study has shown.
JP Hackett has opened the Savile Row townhouse location that it announced earlier this year with the high-end menswear brand adding further to its central London offer as the nearby Jermyn Street location remains open.
The fragile retail sector in the UK, and especially in central London, is continuing to get support from spending by international shoppers and American and Russian consumers are prominent among those, Global Blue said.
The UK remains among the most popular shopping destinations for non-EU shoppers (who claim back the VAT on their purchases) and its sales are rising faster than other European countries, new figures show.
Middle Eastern tourists are expected to boost UK luxury retail this summer with a particular interest in British brands. That’s according to Global Blue, which predicted a 16% rise in transactions by Gulf visitors.
In the last five years, department stores have seen an average growth rate of 21 percent in the rate of tax-free shopping. Growth from APAC countries was at 47 percent with growth in Europe at seven percent.