The lack of tax-free shopping in the UK is particularly felt on Bond Street, which has always been an iconic tourist destination.
British brand Mulberry will close its flagship store in London after 27 years in business. The main reason for the closure is said to be the decline in tourist traffic, which provided high sales in the flagship.
Revenue Mulberry store on Bond Street, one of the most prestigious tourist locations, declined after the government canceled the duty-free shopping scheme. Previously, the store traditionally attracted overseas customers who could get a 20% VAT refund. After the program's cancellation, foreign shoppers have increasingly opted for duty-free shopping in Italy and France.
"The lack of tax-free shopping in the UK is particularly felt on Bond Street, which has always been an iconic tourist destination. Reduced visitor numbers have affected footfall and sales," Mulberry commented.
It is noted that the decision to close the store was made after the store was "commercially unviable" due to declining revenues and high rents.
In 2022 Mulberry was forced to close its flagship store on rue Saint Honoré in Paris. Then the main reason was the sharp decline in tourists due to the pandemic and restrictions. In London, the brand has stores in Battersea, Covent Garden, Spitalfields, Westfields and Guise Court, and corners in Peter Jones, John Lewis and Selfridges.