// Association of International Retail works with businesses & government to ensure the international retail in the UK grows
// Its purpose is to help retailers throughout the UK enhance their sales to international visitors after coronavirus
The newly formed Association of International Retail (AIR) has unveiled an action plan to help the international retail sector recover economically once the coronavirus has been contained.
Retailers across the UK are suffering from a drop in Chinese visitors who are the biggest spenders, usually accounting for over 25 per cent of all tax-free sales.
The plan proposes to make further enhancements to the visa application system, creating a more coordinated and targeted marketing approach, ensuring Britain is open to investors, tourists and students.
AIR brings retailers, retail districts, property owners, hotels and tourism bodies together to provide a voice to mobilise government and businesses.
Its long term objectives include campaigning for extending exemptions to Sunday trading laws and leading on innovations to visas and border queues so that it is easier for travellers to shop at UK retail hotspots.
AIR has support from retailers such as Harrods and Selfridges as well as the New West End Company and property owners Cadogan and Shaftesbury.
The association is led by its chair Jace Tyrrell and chief executive Paul Barnes.
“In forming AIR we are bringing together businesses from across the international retail sector in an entirely new and innovative way,” Tyrrell said.
“Our opportunity is great – to grow our contribution to the economy further – and so is our responsibility, as we work to ensure retailers recover economically from a slow start to 2020.”