UK sees uplift in spend by US shoppers
New data from Global Blue shows that spend by shoppers visiting the UK from the US was up 30% this March compared to the same month in 2018.
The tax free shopping specialist found that shoppers from the country now take a sizable 7% of the total tax free sales in the UK.
Derrick Hardman, Global Blue managing director for the UK and Ireland, said: “This 30% boom in spend is due to several factors both in the UK and the US, combining to make the UK a particularly desirable location for Americans to shop.
“One factor driving the increased visitor numbers is the strength of the dollar to the weaker pound, allowing US shoppers to make their money go further on British soil when shopping tax free.
“Our insights reveal that American shoppers spend an average of £930 per tax free transaction, demonstrating that US visitors aren’t afraid to spend big during their time in the UK. Lower cost flights between the US and Europe are also a contributory factor.”
Global Blue has also found that Americans are increasingly visiting the UK to shop. With quintessentially British brands acting as huge draws for international shoppers, its figures show that spend share is highest amongst British brands, followed by Italian and French brands.
Hardman continued: “The ‘Meghan effect’ has contributed to the growing desire for British brands amongst US visitors. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex provide the perfect combination of a British royal and US celebrity and as such, royal engagements amplify desirability to purchase luxury British brands worn by Meghan.”
Gobal Blue has also found that American shoppers are becoming more comfortable with the concept of shopping tax-free. Data collected by its Global Blue VIP Lounge in London’s Mayfair reveals that US citizens are the second most popular nationality taking advantage of the service and experience, and accounted for 17% of the total number of visitors in 2018.
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