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Russian shopping in the UK falls 17% in a year

Spending in the UK by Russian shoppers dropped 17% year-on-year in February, on the back of political unrest and the weakened ruble.

Russia, one of the top spending international markets in the UK, fell behind Nigeria in the rankings of highest spending nations around the world.

According to the Global Blue Tax Free Spend Index, published today, the 17% drop came as a result of the weakening economy and unrest, leaving Russians less inclined to travel.

Russians are consistently among the biggest spenders in the UK, with shoppers spending an average of £669 with each transaction.

In the year to date, Russian spend in the UK has decreased 16% year-on-year. Global Blue said the UK could feel a slowdown in growth from the Russian tourism market as a result of the ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine and deteriorating relations with the West.

Gordon Clark, UK country manager of Global Blue, said: “The unstable situation in Russia has been shown to affect tourism spend this year as the weakening economy leaves shoppers disinclined to travel. However, Russia is still one of the top shopper markets in the UK as high net worth individuals are drawn to the UK’s extensive offer of luxury brands, so businesses should have renewed emphasis on strategies to entice these individuals and encourage high level spend.”


Readers' comments (1)

  • Global Blue’s analysis draws attention to the other side of the present disagreement with Russia.

    To date the focus has been on the impact on British fashion businesses selling to Russia and Ukraine. But closer to home, if to the end of February retailers have seen a 17% drop in annual spending by Russians, what sort of a drop has been seen this month and may be seen in the months ahead if visa bans and economic sanctions are drawn more widely?

    Stephen Sidkin
    Fashion Law Group
    Fox Williams LLP

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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