Luxury retailers to push for tax cut acceleration ahead of coronation
Luxury retailers in the West End are eager to elevate the shopping destination among its global rivals by appealing for tax changes to be accelerated.
After the Chancellor suggested VAT-free shopping could boost the retail heartland from 2024 last week, the Association of International Retail said could be introduced in the next six months.
The policy would move the country’s retail hotspots, including airports and Bicester Village, “back on a level playing field,” Paul Barnes, head of the business group, told The Telegraph newspaper.
Shoppers have previously shunned London in favour of other capitals such as Paris and Milan, he said.
Retailers could then reap the rewards of a flurry of tourists visiting for King Charles III’s coronation this summer.
While an official date for the coronation is yet to be announced, it is thought that it will be in spring or summer this year.
Business groups including the New West End Company have called for a reinstating of the tax cut since Rishi Sunak slashed it in 2020.
The Treasury said a modern digital version of the scheme would be extended to all overseas visitors, in a Brexit boost to the economy.
The move will reinstate London to its “rightful place among the top luxury shopping destinations in the world,” Thierry Andretta, CEO of Mulberry, said last week.
The capital’s retailers were “delighted” by the return of the policy, according to John Dickie, chief executive at BusinessLDN, who described tourism as “a vital lifeline in a tough winter.”