Pre-Christmas sales rush boosts international spend in UK
International shoppers spent 10% more year-on-year in the UK in November, according to new figures from Global Blue. This was due to the pre-Christmas sales rush, and was an improvement on the slow 3% year-on-year growth seen in the period from January-October 2015.
The increase was led by American shoppers, who spent a massive 55% more year-on-year in November. Chinese shoppers spent 12% more and Middle Eastern shoppers 22% more. Middle Eastern spend represented 30% of the total, making the group the biggest spenders.
Russian spend has continued to decline after last year's crisis, and fell 33% in November.
The November improvement - so different from last year, when international spend in November was down 12% year-on-year - should make retailers feel confident for December.
Gordon Clark, Head of Commercial UK and Ireland at Global Blue, comments: “The festive season is an increasingly important time in the UK retail calendar and whilst not all global shoppers celebrate Christmas, luxury accessories and fashion still top the shopping lists. The Boxing Day sales are a significant draw, and with figures for December 2014 showing 11% YOY growth, we expect them to contribute greatly to international spend again this year.”
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