Dixons Carphone shuts airport stores following axing of duty-free shopping

Evening Standard 28/04/21 Electricals retailer Dixons Carphone has decided to close its airport stores business, just months after a scheme allowing VAT-free shopping for overseas tourists was scrapped. The stores will be the first major casualty of the post-Brexit “tourist tax”, which was bitterly fought by retailers, hospitality and other tourism-dependent businesses. Paul Barnes, chief executive of the Association of … Read More

Zut alors: Why London could lose £1.1 billion in fashion sales to Paris

The Telegraph29/01/21 “These people – who mostly come from China and the Middle East – have contributed a huge amount to the British economy but will simply make the choice not to shop in the UK because it is less advantageous to them,” says Paul Barnes, the CEO of Association of International Retail. “We are now the only country in … Read More

Fortnum & Mason boss hits out over tourist tax that could cost businesses at least £2bn

Daily Mail26/12/20 “Paul Barnes, chief executive of the Association of International Retail, said long-distance tourists who travel from places such as China – which puts £1billion into shop tills – may instead skip Britain and head to Paris where the loophole remains. He said: “Non-EU visitors spend around £18billion a year in the UK. Only £3billion is on shopping, which … Read More

Move to end VAT-free shopping for tourists ‘needs more scrutiny’

Telegraph04/12/20 Paul Barnes, chief executive of the Association of International Retail, said: “There is every chance that the £400m, they think they will be making will be more than wiped out … the moment you take away tax free shopping they will go to France or Germany.”  Read the full article here.

What is the tourist VAT tax and why is Duty Free allowance being cut?

Evening Standard03/12/20 Estimates by business bodies such as the Association of International Retail suggest that more than one million high spending tourists will be deterred from visiting Britain, or at the very least, reduce the number and duration of their visits. Read the full article here.

End of duty-free shopping for tourists may mean big job losses

Telegraph30/09/20 Paul Barnes, chief executive of the Association of International Retail, criticised the decision to scrap tax-free shopping.  “Making the UK the only European country not to offer [it] to international visitors sends totally the wrong message to the world. And it needlessly damages the UK’s retail, tourism and manufacturing industries, already struggling to survive Covid-19,” Read the full article … Read More

VAT change ‘will cost Edinburgh £90m’ and could affect 1800 jobs

The National22/09/20 Paul Barnes: “The Government’s decision to eradicate tax free shopping in the UK will impact Britain’s reputation and appeal as a global shopping destination, providing further damage to our struggling economy. Outside of London, Edinburgh is a key tourist attraction for visitors, proven in the growing number of international flights to Edinburgh airport. The removal of tax free … Read More