Airport retail market ‘to reach 1bn’

The UK airport retail market will reach 1bn by value before the European Commission abolishes duty-free and tax-free sales in June 1999, says a new report by Mintel.

In the past four years, the duty-free and tax-free sales market has risen by 62 per cent to 630m, representing 0.4 per cent of total retail sales.

The growth has been driven by a rise in the number of passengers and an increase in retail floor space in airports. Duty-free and tax-free accounted for 80

per cent of sales in the sector

in 1994.

So far, airport operators and retailers have been successful in lobbying against EU moves to abolish duty-free and tax-free allowances – getting legislation put back from 1993 to 1999.

The Mintel report says the number of airport passengers will continue to rise by about four per cent a year until 2000. Retail floor space will increase by 43 per cent between January 1995 and 2000.

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