Tax free spending in Europe and Asia remains negative in April
Global Blue has released the numbers for Global Tax Free Shopping (TFS) spend in April, and it’s not good news for retailers. Regional sales were down in both Europe (-16% year-on-year) and Asia (-10% year-on-year). This is in comparison with last year, when TFS spend rose +40% for Europe and +92% for Asia year-on-year.
Global Blue said that though tax-free sales in Asia have now followed Europe’s decline, the region is showing some resilience with growing transactions remaining a positive factor here. In contrast, in Europe the “deepening decline looks to have taken hold, with the region posting a tax-free sales drop of -16% for April YoY vs -22% for March.”
The tax free expert also said that this is a signal that the global luxury slowdown is taking hold. “Amid slowing demand for luxury goods and changing consumer shopping behaviour, the luxury goods industry across Europe, the Americas and APAC has recognised that the current climate is likely to remain challenging for the remainder of 2016,” Global Blue said.
The terror attacks in Paris and Brussels are still making tourists put off traveling to Europe, and the introduction of biometric passports is also having an impact on visitor numbers.