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'Elite' global shoppers spend €35k in UK stores annually says Global Blue

Published
Feb 4, 2020
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France is the most popular country for ‘elite shoppers’ to visit with the UK in second place, but these ultra-high-spending consumers are spending more on average in Britain than in its top-ranked neighbour, a new study released on Tuesday has shown.


Selfridges



The world’s wealthiest shoppers are spending an average of €35,000 in UK stores according to tax-free payments facilitator Global Blue, which launched its International Elite Shopper study at the Walpole Luxury Summit in London. 

These shoppers spend an average total of €55,000 during their three international trips a year, said Global Blue, adding that this amount is spent across 12 different transactions. 

Last year, France took a 36% share of elite shopper traffic with the UK on 31% and the study also showed that these wealthy consumers accounted for 24% of all tax-free shopping spend in the UK, versus a global average of 17%.

Despite the current disruption to Chinese shopper activity caused by the coronavirus, overall, Chinese shoppers account for the largest number of elite shoppers globally, at nearly 40%. This is followed by South East Asia on 15% and the Gulf countries close behind on 14%, The US and Russia are next on 6% each.

But those figures aren’t reflected in UK activity where visitors from the Gulf countries make up 30% of the number of elite shoppers, ahead of Greater China, which is in second place on 27%.

In fact, Gulf visitors prefer the UK over all other destinations with 75% planning to visit Britain and to spend two weeks there, compared to an average duration of just three days in France or Italy.

And while they’re heavily focused on buying luxury goods, they prefer to purchase them from department stores above all other locations. Global Blue said 85% of their purchases are made in such stores (good news for Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Liberty). The company described these consumers as ‘Department Store Advocates’ and said that 46% of DSA spend is made on watches and jewellery and 25% on fashion items.

Global Blue’s UK MD Derrick Hardman said that elite shoppers are “an important opportunity for UK stores, especially in the context of today’s retail challenges. Understanding how this audience behaves and what they value in the British shopping experience is key”.

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