The 'Great Brexit Sale' will continue to draw in international shoppers in Q1 of this year, a new report from Premier Tax Free, the international provider of VAT refund and dynamic currency conversion services, reveals.
Original data from the annual 'Premier Vision 2017' Report found that the post-Brexit pound contributed to a 20% international sales growth in the second half of 2016. Having been in negative growth (-7%) pre-EU referendum, price elasticity around the decline in GBP exchange rates had an immediate effect in triggering demand and boosting international tourist numbers and spend in July – December 2016.
With the triggering of Article 50 due to take place on Wednesday of this week, the impact of the post-Brexit pound is set to continue to make the UK a popular destination for international tourist shoppers, with arrivals predicted to rise to 11% by the end of Q1.
In spite of declines in overall arrival numbers and average transaction values in 2016, the devaluation of the pound boosted international shoppers from the UK's top tax free nationalities. China topped the UK's international tourist numbers last year, up 11% year-on-year, closely followed by USA and Kuwait.
Muriel Zingraff-Shariff, UK Country Manager at Premier Tax Free, commented: "Despite the challenging political and economic landscape, the UK continues to be an attractive destination for international shoppers looking to take advantage of cheaper prices brought about by the devaluation of the pound. This presents a lucrative opportunity for retail businesses to expose their brand to new international audiences as well as securing additional sales."
"To capitalise on this, retailers and destination shopping centres need to ensure they have the solutions in place to support and enhance international consumer journeys - from the in-store experience all the way to reclaiming their VAT refunds once they return home – to create seamless and enjoyable encounters. Electronic systems for digital stamping and Tax Free voucher processing can reduce the administrative burden – often a principal pain-point – on consumers, to enhance the international shopping experience," she concluded.