The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has conducted an economic analysis showing that the removal of tax-free shopping for tourists in the UK has had a significant negative impact on the economy. The report estimates a loss of £10.7 billion in GDP and a decline of two million foreign visitors spending money across various sectors. To address this, the study suggests reinstating the traditional VAT-free shopping scheme for tourists, which would have a positive impact on public finances. For every £1 refunded in sales tax to foreign tourists, the exchequer would gain £1.56 through other forms of taxation due to the dynamic economic effects of tourist expenditure. The report predicts that implementing this change would generate additional revenues of £2.3 billion in 2023, surpassing the losses associated with sales tax refunds.

In other news, Frasers Group has further increased its holdings in online fashion and retail specialist Boohoo Group. The company now owns 7.8% of Boohoo, up from its previous 6.8% holding just last week. Frasers Group has been steadily building its stake in Boohoo since June as part of its expansion in the fashion industry. However, while expanding its presence, Frasers Group is also undergoing operational changes. The company is cutting over 100 roles at its Manchester office to optimize its acquired brands, including Missguided, I Saw It First, and Studio Retail.

Meanwhile, John Lewis has made an important appointment to lead its new customer planning team. Andreas Nicolaides will join the company in October as the Head of Customer Planning & Channels. Nicolaides’ job will focus on modernizing and optimizing the marketing strategies of John Lewis across its physical stores and online platforms. He aims to deepen customer relationships and leverage marketing assets to drive commercial value for the business. Prior to this appointment, Nicolaides held key positions at N Brown, the owner of Simply Be and JD Williams, as well as at Monsoon.

In addition, Superdry has promoted Shaun Packe to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO). Packe, previously the global sourcing and sustainability director, has been with Superdry since 2011 and has played a significant role in sourcing and sustainability efforts. His promotion reflects his dedication to the brand. Prior to joining Superdry, Packe held sourcing roles at Asda’s George label for six years. This appointment follows the departure of the retailer’s former COO, Silvana Bonello, a few months ago.

These recent developments within the fashion and retail industry highlight the ongoing changes and strategies being implemented by key players. Frasers Group’s expansion and operational streamlining demonstrate its acquisitive nature, while John Lewis aims to enhance its marketing capabilities under new leadership. Superdry’s promotion of Shaun Packe showcases the recognition of expertise within the company. These moves reflect the ever-evolving nature of the industry and the efforts of businesses to adapt and thrive in a highly competitive market.

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