Eid al-Adha celebration boosted UK retail in August

today Sep 25, 2019
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UK retailers benefited from a rise in spend from Middle Eastern shoppers last month as the Eid al-Adha celebration saw the region’s consumers spending big at the UK's high-end stores.

Luxury stores in London were a key destination for tourists in August - Sandra Halliday

Three of the UK’s top five visiting nations were from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in August and they were clearly in a mood to spend, sales to visitors from Kuwait in particular rising a hefty 17%, the latest Planet Intelligence report shows. Shoppers from Saudi Arabia and the UAE also increased their spend.

The UK was the only major European destination market to see three GCC nations rank among their top five source markets.

Planet has a unique insight into these shoppers as it handles many of the transactions for those claiming their sales tax back.

Another key group for the UK, shoppers from the US, also boosted their spend last month, by a much as 16%. That rise made it the UK’s second-largest growing source market for the month and was especially good news in the face of falling Chinese tourist sales.

Overall, sales to international shoppers rose 5% for the seventh consecutive month of growth, but sales to those from China fell 5%.

While the total 5% rise was lower than the 13% seen in June and 9% in July, it does still show healthy international shopper activity in the UK.

Planet also said that average transaction value (ATV) rose in Britain last month, by 9%, although the number of transactions fell 3%. It believes that this was due to those GCC shoppers who typically spend more money on fewer high-priced items. That would have been a boon for European luxury brands as they’re particularly popular among this demographic group.

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