UK ‘losing out’ to rival EU shopping destinations, claims Burberry CFO

Burberry has claimed that the UK is losing out to rival tourist shopping destinations such as Milan and Paris.

The luxury good brand’s recent first quarter financials showed that tourist spending growth across Europe stood at 53 per cent year on year.

However, Burberry said the UK government’s decision to stop allowing tourists to reclaim VAT on shopping purchases was hurting Britain’s status as a holiday shopping destination.

“London has strength, but we are definitely seeing a stronger recovery of [shopping] in continental tourists compared to the UK,” said Burberry’s interim chief financial officer Ian Brimicombe. “At the moment we are seeing Britons going to Europe and other nationalities going to continental Europe for their buying as opposed to London.”

Brimicombe went on to suggest that the UK needed a “new scheme” because, by contrast, European rivals offered various additional incentives to shoppers with Burberry’s results evidencing the success of VAT-related initiatives in other European destinations.

Burberry’s first quarter results also revealed that overall sales across Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa rose 17 per cent. The brand also recorded “covid bounce-back” sales growth of eight per cent in China.

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