// The world’s wealthiest shoppers spend an average of €35,000 (£29,704) in UK stores, according to Global Blue
// “Elite shoppers” spend an average total of €55,000 (£46,680) during their three international trips per year
// The UK is the 2nd most popular shopping destination worldwide for elite shoppers, after France
The world’s wealthiest shoppers spend an average of €35,000 (£29,704) in UK stores, according to to new research.
Tax-free shopping experts from Global Blue recently conducted the first International Elite Shopper study, which provides insights into the spending patterns and consumer behaviours of the world’s wealthiest international shoppers.
It found that elite shoppers travel approximately three times a year and spend a total annual average of €55,000 (£46,680) across 12 different transactions.
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Those who visit the UK spend an average of €35,000 in its stores, making it the highest average spend of all European countries.
However, the UK is still the second most popular destination for international elite shoppers in the world, behind France which took a 36 per cent share of the elite shopper traffic in 2019 compared to 31 per cent for the UK.
Global Blue said elite shoppers account for 24 per cent of all tax-free shopping spend in UK, compared to a global average of 17 per cent.
Chinese shoppers account for the largest number of elite shoppers globally, at nearly 40 per cent.
This is followed by South East Asia at 15 per cent, the Gulf at 14 per cent, followed by the US and Russia with six per cent each.
Still, it is a different picture in the UK, where visitors from the Gulf region make up 30 per cent of the number of elite shoppers, with Greater China second at 27 per cent.
For elite shoppers from the Gulf Countries, the UK is their preferred travel destination – 75 per cent will visit the country alone and spend approximately 14 days here, compared to an average duration of three days in France or Italy.
British department stores in particular were also found to be a major draw to elite shoppers from the Gulf region, with these shoppers making 85 per cent of their purchases with household names such as Harrods or Selfridges.
“The elite shopper represents an important opportunity for UK stores, especially in the context of today’s retail challenges,” Global Blue managing director Derrick Hardman said.
“Understanding how this audience behaves and what they value in the British shopping experience is key.”