Duty-free shopping in Europe gains strength with record recovery rates


EYSINS, Switzerland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today at the Walpole British Luxury Summit in London, Global Blue CEO Jacques Stern will present new data that points to the recovery of post-pandemic duty-free shopping in mainland Europe.

The recovery of duty-free shopping in Europe continues to progress strongly as international travel resumes

In the first months of 2022, Tax Free Shopping in Europe experienced its highest post-pandemic recovery rate, reaching 66% in March 2022, compared to the same period in 2019.

In April, the recovery reached a slightly lower rate (56%) due to the temporary impact of Ramadan and the subsequent decrease in travel among GCC buyers.

GCC, US and European region buyers exceed 2019 spending levels

The European recovery was fueled by the strong performance of several of the main Tax Free Shopping nationalities. During the first quarter, GCC buyers achieved 175% recovery compared to 2019, while those in the United States and regional Europe reached 119% and 106% respectively.

The recovery increased to 155% for US buyers and 134% for regional buyers in April, while it fell to 43% for GCC buyers, due to the Ramadan period.

British shoppers – a new nationality eligible for tax-free since Brexit – also contributed to the improving recovery, accounting for 7% of all tax-free spending in Europe in April.

Duty-free shoppers’ strong appetite for travel and spending drives recovery

The ongoing recovery can be attributed to several key factors, including:

Strong appetite for travel: According to the latest ForwardKeys5 data, air traffic demand to continental Europe continues to improve in 2022, with GCC demand reaching 72% recovery in Q2 (vs. 68% in Q1) and the US reaching 78% (vs. 77% in Q1). T1).

Rejected request: In 2022 (compared to 2019), Tax Free Shoppers increased their number of transactions and the average spend per transaction, which led to an overall increase in individual spending: this is pent-up demand6which reached +137% among GCC buyers, +90% among US buyers and +98% among regional buyers in the first quarter.

Jacques Stern, CEO of Global Blue, said:

“The strong performance of nationalities such as the GCC and the United States is a very encouraging indication of how quickly and robustly duty-free shopping can recover as borders ease and international travel resumes. Meanwhile, the rapid establishment of UK shoppers as a key duty-free nationality holds promise for European retailers and we look forward to seeing how this new market evolves throughout 2022 and beyond.

To access and download the full presentation, visit the investors section of the Company’s website at Global Blue Group Holding AG – Investor Relationsin the Events and Presentations section.

All data is like-for-like (at constant scope and exchange rates).

Source: Global Blue


Global Blue pioneered the concept of Tax Free Shopping 40 years ago. Through continuous innovation, we have become the leading strategic partner in technology and payment, enabling retailers to improve their performance and shoppers to improve their experience.

Global Blue offers innovative solutions in three different areas:

  • Tax-free purchases: Helping retailers with over 300,000 outlets efficiently manage 35 million Tax Free Shopping transactions per year, thanks to its fully integrated in-house technology platform. Meanwhile, its industry-leading digital tax-free shopping solutions create a better and more seamless customer experience.
  • Payment services: Delivering a full suite of currency and payment technology solutions that enable acquirers, hotels and retailers to deliver value-added services and improve customer experience across 31 million payment transactions per year to 130 000 interaction points
  • Complementary RetailTech: Delivering new technology solutions to retailers, including digital receipts and e-commerce returns, that can be easily integrated into their core systems and allow them to optimize and digitize their processes throughout the omnichannel customer journey, both in-store and online

Additionally, our data and consulting services offer strategic advice to help retailers identify growth opportunities, while our customer experience and engagement solutions provide data-driven solutions for increase attendance, convert attendance into revenue and improve performances.

For more information, visit http://www.globalblue.com/corporate/

FY 2019-20 pre-pandemic figures

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including statements regarding Global Blue or its management’s expectations, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. The words “anticipate”, “believe”, “continue”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “may”, “could”, “plan”, ” possible”, “potential”, “predict”, “project”, “should”, “would” and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of such words does not mean that a statement is not prospective. These forward-looking statements are based on Global Blue’s current expectations and beliefs regarding future developments and their potential effects on Global Blue. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting Global Blue will be those anticipated by us. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond Global Blue’s control) or other assumptions that could cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. prospective. These include business expectations and other external factors, including political, legal, tax, market and economic conditions and factors affecting travel and traveler purchases, including the global COVID-19 pandemic. and applicable laws, regulations and rules (including, but not limited to, accounting policies and accounting treatments), currency exchange rate movements, inflation and other factors described under “Risk Factors” in Global Blue’s Annual Report on Form 20-F/A for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and in other reports we file from time to time with the SEC, all of which are difficult to predict and are beyond the control of Global Blue. Except as required by law, Global Blue undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

1 Continental Europe = Europe excluding UK

2 The recovery rate is defined as the ratio between 2022 sales in stores and 2019 sales, at constant scope and exchange rates.

3 GCC buyers: Buyers from Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman

4 Regional Buyers: Buyers who can get to their destination by ground transportation or less than 2 hours flight time. Ex: Switzerland, British, Ukraine, etc.

5 ForwardKeys 2022 Proprietary Data

6 Pent-up demand equals increase in spend per buyer in 2022 compared to 2019


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