London department stores to benefit from 'Ramadan Rush'
New figures have suggested that Middle Eastern shoppers are set to treble their spending at Londons department stores over the coming weeks as tourists from the region flock to the UK in search of luxury goods.
The data from Worldpay shows the annual ‘Ramadan Rush’ is worth millions to the capital’s flagship stores with turnover rising by 368% in the month after Eid Al Fitr last year.
The figures reveal that Middle Eastern visitors spent £251.05 on each visit to the till, nearly eight times the £32.76 European tourists averaged per transaction. Qataris were by far the biggest spenders, racking up an average of £466.89 on purchases. This was followed by £275.17 from the United Arab Emirates, £186.29 from Saudi Arabia and £134.07 from Bahrain.
Department stores were found to be the biggest beneficiaries of the Eid shopping spree, accounting for nearly 59% of all spending by Arab visitors.
London remains the number one draw for post-Ramadan shopping, but luxury retail hub Bicester Village has also emerged as a popular destination, with sales from Middle Eastern shoppers rising by 276% on the seasonal average. Retailers in Manchester and Edinburgh saw transactions from the Middle East rise by 61% and 46% respectively.
Dave Hobday, UK managing director of Worldpay, said: “We expect spending by Middle Eastern shoppers to break records this year, with turnover as high as Christmas for some luxury stores. This is about far more than just premium retail however. From bargains at Bicester to boutiques on Bond Street, retailers across the UK are wise to the opportunity that Eid offers.
“More and more retailers are now employing multi-lingual staff, listing tax-free prices in-store and giving shoppers the option to pay by card in their own currency. Businesses of all sizes will need to get these special touches right if they want more Middle Eastern shoppers in the door.”
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