Mulberry chief calls for ‘tourist tax’ to be scrapped as London brands “suffering” as shoppers go elsewhere

Brands in London “suffering”: Fresh calls

Fresh calls have been made to reinstate VAT-free shopping for international tourists, after the chief of Mulberry warned its profits have been hit hard by it as they ditch London for Paris and Milan.

Pre-tax profit at the British handbag maker fell to £13.2m in the year to April, down from £21.3m the prior year.

Thierry Andretta, boss of the luxury fashion brand, has been vocal in recent years about the damage the removal of the offer has had on the sector, telling the Evening Standard, on today he had “no doubt” that the abolition impacted its profits.

“There is no doubt that the lack of VAT-free shopping has impacted our UK performance, and we, along with other British brands, are suffering the consequences of this,” the chief said.