Chinese tax free spending in UK to dampen in 3m, predicts Global Blue

By Luke Barras-hill |


Chinese shoppers account for 28% of tax free spending in Europe, but confidence is waning. Source: Global Blue.

Tax refund specialist Global Blue is forecasting a 7% decline in Chinese tax free transactions in the UK in the coming 90 days.

Its latest insights on international spending reveals changing expectations and consumer confidence, notably from millennials, is limiting tax free purchases in Europe.

Conversely, international shoppers from America and Russia are sustaining tax free spending in the run-up to Christmas.

Global Blue estimates a 7% increase in Russian tax free transactions and a 14% rise from Americans shopping in the UK for the period. The US and Russia account for a 8% and 7% share of tax free spending in Europe, respectively.

The company, which operates in 52 countries worldwide, says American international travellers’ tax free shopping levels have lifted by 25% on a three-month rolling basis, with Russian international shoppers showing a +12% lift in their spends.

“While shoppers from Russia are increasing their spending across European destinations, driven to UK shores by rising oil prices, the rise in American international shoppers is due to the US dollar strength and income tax reductions which are positively impacting the household disposable income for shopping,” added Global Blue.


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