Nov 19, 2019
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US, Russian shoppers boost UK in run-up to Christmas - Global Blue

Nov 19, 2019

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, a new report from Global Blue said this week.

Russian and American luxury shoppers are spending more in the UK

The company, which facilitates VAT refunds for international shoppers, said Americans have demonstrated a 25% rolling three-month progression in tax-free spend in the UK. And Russian international shopper spend has risen 12% on the same basis.

Global Blue is also predicting that during the next 90 days Americans, will see a 14% tax-free transaction increase and Russians a 7% rise.

In fact, the company said that shoppers from Russia are increasing their spending across much of Europe generally. Meanwhile American international shoppers are riding the wave of a strong US dollar and income tax reductions that means they have more money to spare for luxury discretionary spending.

And from the point of view of British retailers, it's lucky that this is the case as that other major group on which they rely, the Chinese, seem to be cutting back. Global blue is predicting a 7% drop in tax-free transactions on their part in the next 90 days.

That said, they remain hugely important as they make up a massive 28% of the total tax-free spend across Europe, while the US only accounts for 8% and Russia for 7%.

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