Duty-free loss will be catastrophic, says luxury jeweller Boodles

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Duty-free loss will hit us harder than Brexit and the pandemic combined, says luxury jeweller Boodles

The boss of luxury jeweller Boodles said the loss of duty-free shopping could hit the sector harder than Brexit and the pandemic together.

The family-owned firm, which counts Victoria Beckham and Emma Thompson as customers, said sales were around 11 per cent down in December, compared to last year.

But the loss of duty-free shopping for foreign tourists from January 1 is a greater concern. 

Sparkling: Boodles model Sophie Dahl. The family-owned firm said sales were around 11 per cent down in December, compared to last year

Sparkling: Boodles model Sophie Dahl. The family-owned firm said sales were around 11 per cent down in December, compared to last year

MPs fear it will lead to 40,000 redundancies on the high street, just as it struggles to recover from the pandemic.

A fifth of Boodles’s sales are made to overseas customers. Managing director Michael Wainwright said: ‘It was like a thunderbolt out of the blue.

It’s potentially worse than Brexit and the pandemic put together. We exist in London to sell to overseas people. To take it away now is a spectacular own goal.

‘Sales won’t be made and people won’t come here. It is a catastrophe for many people.’

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