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Rising costs continue to impact hair and beauty sector

21 Feb 2024

The latest quarterly State of the Industry survey from the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) shows that the recovery of the sector was slow and steady through 2023 and into January... Read more…

UK votes for its favourite pun-based shop name

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21 Feb 2024

Businesses in the Devon town of Ottery St Mary have praised their local council for initiatives designed to help support them and boost trade.
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19 Feb 2024

A new ranking of the most popular independent coffee shops in the world has put three UK cafes in the top 10.
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19 Feb 2024

Older people could be the financial shot in the arm needed for Britain’s high street, according to research commissioned by the University of Stirling. 
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Rural shops more important than ever, new report shows.

8 Feb 2024

The ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has celebrated the crucial role that rural shops play in thousands of communities across the UK in its 2024 Rural Shop Report.
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Study reveals Apple Pay and contactless payments have overtaken cash payments as favourite ways to pay in-store.

8 Feb 2024

New research reveals that Apple Pay and contactless payments have overtaken cash payments by a landslide as our favourite ways to pay in-store.
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Fed expresses alarm at ‘runaway’ shoplifting incidents.

5 Feb 2024

The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) has expressed alarm at new figures that show shoplifting at its highest level in 20 years.
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Hunstanton deli launches new West Norfolk food and drink festival.

5 Feb 2024

A brand-new festival is being launched next month is “all about community and breathing life into the High Street”, according to Mark Kacary, managing director of The Norfolk Deli in... Read more…

Retailers react to disposable vape ban.

5 Feb 2024

The retail sector has been responding to government plans to ban disposable vapes as part of plans to tackle the rise in youth vaping.
Read more…

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Government urged to reinstate Tax Free shopping with UK Retailers missing out as sales surge across Europe

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News, Creative News, Outdoor News

high streetThe European retail sector has enjoyed its best month for international spending on Tax Free goods since the end of the pandemic after sales surged by 40% month on month in March 2023, taking them to just 21% below March 2019 – their highest level in nearly three years.

That’s according to the findings from Planet, a global technology leader providing integrated software, payment, and technology solutions.

Planet’s latest data shows the extent to which Europe’s retailers are benefiting from a surge in sales as the ever-growing numbers of Asian tourists combine with continued high levels of spending by US consumers, fuelling strong growth.

This further highlights the need for the UK Government to quickly reintroduce Tax Free shopping so UK retailers can benefit from this growth opportunity.

UK consumers continue to spend big on Tax Free across Europe

The UK’s shoppers are continuing to flex their spending muscle in Europe, retaining their place among the top five source nationalities for Europe’s retailers when it comes to Tax Free shopping despite the growth from Asia. As European retailers gear-up for the busy summer travel season, the presence of UK shoppers will continue to provide good cheer.

Planet’s latest Intelligence report shows that in March 2023, UK consumers spent most on Tax Free products in France which captured 56.9% of all spending across Europe with an average transaction value (ATV) of €1,870. Paris remains the preferred city destination taking 46.1% of all UK consumer spending.

The UK’s younger customers are continuing to drive this spending with Gen Z accounting for 27% of sales in March 2023, almost three times more than other non-EU Gen Z shoppers. The UK’s affluent Gen Zs prefer to spend in luxury, department stores, and watches & jewellery where they over-index compared to other non-EU shoppers of this age group.

Luca Cassina, President of Retail at Planet commented:

“Our data highlights the extent to which UK retailers are missing out on international spending particularly from Asian, Middle Eastern and US tourists with the UK being the only major European market not to currently offer Tax Free shopping.

“We know that Chinese tourists are already returning to Europe and they’re now only second to the US in terms of their spending on Tax Free. All the forecasts point to them emerging as a major force in international spending across Europe this summer as international airline capacity from mainland China continues to increase.

“We know from our research that almost 7 out of 10 Chinese consumers would be more likely to visit the UK if a Tax-Free shopping scheme were to be available.

“We continue to encourage the UK Government to act quickly to reinstate a Tax-Free shopping scheme for overseas visitors. This would provide a major and very welcome boost to the UK’s retail sector ahead of the peak summer travel season.”

“By working in partnership with the industry, the UK Government can quickly introduce a digital Tax-Free shopping scheme that would offer overseas consumers visiting Europe more choice and which puts retailers across the UK on a level playing field.”

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