Cashing in on tax free shopping in Leeds

BAG A BARGAIN: The Trinity's David Maddison and Jennifer Young of VisitLeeds.
BAG A BARGAIN: The Trinity's David Maddison and Jennifer Young of VisitLeeds.
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Tax free shopping in Leeds has increased by 25 per cent in one year according to figures released this week.

Sales from more than 200 stores across the city were analysed by Premier Tax Free, including Trinity Leeds which became a fully tax free shopping centre last year.

Tax free shopping means overseas purchasers can obtain a refund on the tax they paid on unused goods before they return home by filling in a form and presenting it at the airport.


Results revealed that tourists from China dominated the spend with 23.7% of all tax free sales in the city last year.

Behind China, Middle Eastern countries made up the rest of the top five in terms of volume of total tax free sales, headed by Kuwait (9.8%), Saudi Arabia (5.5%), Qatar (4.8%) and the United Arab Emirates (4.7%).

Sales from Malaysian visitors to Leeds showed the biggest growth, being up 134% year-on-year.

It is thought the increase in tax free shoppers is partly down to the increase in both the number, and capacity, of flights from the Middle East to Manchester, as well as the availability of connections from Leeds Bradford airport to the Middle East.

David Maddison, General Manager at Trinity Leeds, said: “The post-Brexit trend continues in that the UK is a more attractive shopping destination for overseas visitors who are literally getting more bang for their buck, euro, dinar, dirham and yuan. Tax free is becoming an increasingly important part of our business and in the last quarter of 2016 we became a fully tax free shopping destination.

“Leeds rightly counts itself as a cosmopolitan city and as our international tourists, businesses and students continues to grow, so will the investment into the area.”