Pressure on Chancellor

Luxury brands mount tax-free shopping plea

Multrees Walk, shop, retail, Edinburgh

Multrees Walk, Edinburgh, home to luxury brands (pic: Terry Murden)

Some of the world’s luxury brands, including De Beers, Gucci and Hugo Boss, have today warned that the Treasury’s decision to abolish tax-free shopping for international visitors will cost the UK “billions of pounds of revenue” and risks future investment into the country.

In an open letter addressed to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, 11 brands say that removing the VAT refund for tourists will give the UK “the least competitive duty-free regime in Europe” and will result in visitors “opting to spend their money elsewhere in Europe”.

The brands state that the current regime helped Britain become a world-leading shopping destination and that they have “invested in the UK accordingly” but that these changes will “put this status at risk”.

The letter follows a series of interventions from businesses and institutions concerned by the Treasury’s decision.

Scottish retailers, MSPs and the tourism, arts, hospitality and culture sectors, have publicly voiced their concern over the knock-on impact of the change.

Signatories to the latest letter are:

Suriya Parksuwan, Managing Director L’Oréal Luxe – UK & Ireland

Marco Bizzari, CEO , Gucci

Gavin Murphy, Managing Director – Breitling UK

Céline Assimon, CEO – De Beers

Volker Herre, Managing Director Western Europe & Middle East – Hugo Boss

Jean-François Palus, Group Managing Director – Kering

Frederick Fischer, UK Managing Director – Lalique

Giacomo Missoni, Retail Director – Missoni

Alex Willson, Retail Director – Samsonite and Tumi

Barratt West, Vice President – Managing Director, UK & Ireland – Tiffany & Co.

Corinne Ortega, EMEA CEO – Salvatore Ferragamo

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