…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Thierry Andretta, the CEO of luxury handbag maker Mulberry, has expressed concerns over the negative impact of the loss of VAT-free shopping on the company’s performance in the UK.
Mulberry’s annual results revealed a 4% growth in revenue, reaching £159.1 million.
However, sales in the UK declined slightly from £88.5 million to £87.7 million.
In contrast, the brand’s Asia Pacific division saw a 3% increase in sales, while international sales as a whole rose by 12%.
Effects of the End of Duty-Free Shopping and Store Closure
Mulberry, like many other retailers, has been affected by the abolishment of duty-free shopping in 2021.
The company recently closed its Bond Street store due to declining sales and footfall.
Thierry Andretta acknowledged the impact of these changes, stating that the lack of VAT-free shopping has significantly affected Mulberry’s performance in the UK.
He also emphasized that British brands, including Mulberry, are suffering as a result.
Calls for Government Reconsideration and Financial Results
Andretta urged the UK government to reconsider the policy on VAT-free shopping, emphasizing the importance of supporting British businesses to foster growth, investment, and job creation.
Mulberry’s pre-tax profits declined by 38% to £13.2 million, partly due to the costs associated with the closure of the Bond Street store.
Outlook and Future Investments
Despite the challenging economic and geopolitical environment, Mulberry remains confident in its strategy and continues to invest in the business.
The company plans to open more stores later this year, aiming to expand its network and further drive growth.
In the first 12 weeks of the new financial year, Mulberry reported a 6% increase in group revenue, with UK retail sales in line with the same period in the previous year.
In conclusion, Mulberry CEO Thierry Andretta highlights the negative impact of the loss of VAT-free shopping on the company’s UK performance.
The closure of their Bond Street store and declining sales have been contributing factors.
Andretta calls on the government to reconsider the policy, and despite the challenges, Mulberry remains confident in its strategy and is investing in further store openings.