Welcome to the latest travel retail column for DRG by Alison Farrington aka The Retail Planner (TRP).
As the first update of the New Year, we kick off with a brief look at the new laws for duty free here in the UK, as well as some positive retail news from China.
1/ SEE EU LATER. This month, there will undoubtedly be much Brexsplaining going on as travellers come to terms with the cancellation of tax-free shopping refunds for luxury fashion purchases in the UK. As of 1 January, the government has abolished the VAT Refund Scheme for non-EU travellers in the UK, meaning that shoppers from overseas can no longer claim their tax back on luxury purchases when they return home, unless the goods are shipped separately from the traveller (cost prohibitive). Meanwhile, the good news is that duty-free shopping is back for travel between the UK and EU (for alchohol and tobacco only), which means a Brexit bonanza for fans of the booze cruise. (more…)
It takes a lot to get me to an 8.30am press launch, but the addition of seven new boutiques to the HarrodsSalon de Perfums did the trick. Joining the original ten boutiques, this 6th floor haven is a destination for serious scent seekers.
Let’s talk personalisation and experience, two big lifestyle trends that are a gift to luxury retailers. At Harrods they’re expected by wealthy overseas customers, who demand excellence and uniqueness from every visit. With bricks and mortar retail struggling overall, it’s the ‘wow’ experiences that get people talking and – crucially – returning for more. (more…)
The final day of London Fashion Week was all about youthful ideals and teen romance, kicking off at 9am with Marques’Almeida. This duo has slowly and steadily built an appealing aesthetic that riffs on tattered-edged insousiance of a bygone kind. While earlier collections were rooted in nineties grunge, AW14 takes its essence from New York’s Chelsea Hotel and its famous 1970s inhabitants. The models’ Patti Smith-style bird’s nest hair matched the fuzzy furry stoles and shoes, while the colour palette was surprisingly upbeat – complemented by primary-coloured MAC paint ringing the eyes. (more…)
Oh man, I am so done with winter already! Luckily, every day of pure white cloud overhead brings another postie delivery of spring beauty goodness…
TORY BURCH BEAUTY IS HERE
Tory Burch Beauty has now arrived (at Harrods and Toryburch.co.uk) and it’s a nicely considered offer. Packaging-wise, the gold-on-orange fretwork is gorgeous, although you’ll be slightly disappointed if expecting something weighty as it’s not metal. On the upside, that makes it lighter and easily portable. The products themselves are similar to Aerin in terms of wearability. (more…)