International shopper spending growth is slowing in the UK and that's bad news for luxury fashion labels, although on the plus side, those shoppers who do visit Britain seem to be spending more per transaction.
UK high street and travel retail newsagent WH Smith has delivered a surprise with news that it’s buying US travel retail specialist Marshall Retail for $400m/£312m, radically expanding its travel retail chain.
Shoppers may not be in the mood for lavish spending at the moment, but the retail sector is being “propped up” by spending on the part of international tourists. And luxury fashion is a key beneficiary of this.
Macy’s cut its full-year earnings forecast on Wednesday after missing estimates for quarterly profit for the first time in at least two years, as it discounted merchandise heavily to clear spring inventory.
The fall in the pound could mean more Chinese tourists coming to the UK and spending more during their visits. Chinese shoppers are expected to spend an extra £375 per person per visit if sterling continues to sink.
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.