TAX-FREE LEAFLET SHOWCASES STRATFORD AS A SHOPPING HAVEN FOR FOREIGN VISITORS
Stratford’s tax-free shopping offering is taking centre stage thanks to a new leaflet dreamed up by two local businesses and the town’s Business Improvement District (BID).
The leaflet showcases more than 60 businesses in Stratford which offer tax-free shopping for non-European residents, appealing to the thousands of people who pour to areas like nearby Bicester Village on the hunt for great deals.
Its creation is the product of a team effort
by Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) with two BID members, jewellers Fraser Hart and fashion and shoe shop Molemi, following suggestions that more should be done to take advantage of visitors travelling to Stratford from Asia.
The leaflet, which is being distributed around town by Stratforward’s team of Town Hosts, showcases Stratford as a tax-free shopping destination to visitors from non-EU countries, particularly China, Korea and Brazil.
Joe Baconnet, Stratforward BID Director, said: “The inspirations for the leaflet were two of our BID businesses who felt we weren’t reaching out enough as a town. We were more than happy to compile the list and we were amazed to see how many of our businesses offered it. Molemi has also been a big support for other independents who want to embrace tax-free and wanted to know where to start with tax-free.”
Visitors to the UK who live outside the EU and are returning home are entitled to VAT refunds on goods bought in the UK. Not all retailers offer tax-free shopping but the new leaflet lists the businesses in Stratford which do.
Dale Fletcher, Co-Director of Molemi in Stratford-upon-Avon and Chipping Campden, said: “Due to the importance of the tax-free facility to those visiting from outside of the European Community, particularly from China, it’s extremely important that the BID plays such a pivotal role in encouraging as many retailers in the town to offer the scheme, and then to promote it to those visiting. We have used it for a number of years at both our sites with great success.”
Anne Robertshaw, from Wood Street jewellers Fraser Hart, added: “We were keen to get the message to the Chinese visitor before they arrived in Stratford and a conversation with the BID turned into this leaflet. We’re delighted that Stratford-upon-Avon will be promoted in this way.”
The leaflet, which will be updated throughout the year, will be distributed to local hotels, tour operators who bring non-European visitors, tourism buyers from abroad and used by partners to promote the town in these markets.
Mr Baconnet continued: “It’s brilliant to be able to respond to members’ needs in this way. This is exactly the kind of thing the BID is here to do - to work with local businesses to attract people to Stratford and make sure they’re spending money in our shops. It’s been great to work on this with two members and see their suggestions become a reality.”
For more information on tax-free shopping in Stratford-upon-Avon visit www.stratforward.co.uk/taxfree