Indians go abroad to buy luxury brands. They feel it’s simpler, more convenient and cheaper. There’s been an over 20 per cent growth this year in travel to destinations that house outlets of designer luxury brands and offer products at heavily discounted rates such as the UK, France, Belgium and the US. Various international tourism offices have increased promotional activity to attract Indian travelers to shopping destinations and outlet malls overseas.
There are various initiatives taken like additional discounts, preferential shopping hours and logistical support. The wider availability of current collections and sizing, coupled with competitive pricing, further make the international shopping experience more attractive.
The UK for instance has emerged as a preferred destination for luxury watches because of favorable exchange rates and VAT. The VAT refund in the UK is 18 percent. Expensive watches don’t need proof of identification proof and can be bought under anonymity. In India, anything costing more than two lakhs requires a pan card identity.
La Vallée Village in France, home to brands such as Armani, Jimmy Choo, Givenchy and Versace, has been organising trade events in India and saw visits by Indians increase 40 per cent last year. Bicester Village in the UK launched an India pop-up concept store this year, housing creations of Indian designers.