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Mulberry boss: Tourists are shunning London because of rising prices

Mulberry has warned that tourists are holding back from shopping in London after luxury retailers increased their prices to cope with the pressures on the high street.
Chief executive Thierry Andretta said some Asian shoppers were now choosing to buy their luxury goods in rival capital cities as retailers were forced to pass on costs to cover last year’s business rates hike.
“Chinese tourists groups are coming to Europe to do their shopping in London, Paris, Milan and Switzerland," he said. "They will be looking at where the most attractive prices are.”
Mr Andretta said the flow of tourist shoppers was up 46pc in April 2017, but had dropped 21pc over the same period this year.
Mulberry’s UK like-for-like retail sales, which strip out the impact of new shops, dropped 9pc in the 10 weeks to June 2 in the face of lower footfall and fewer tourists.
This was despite Mulberry itself choosing not to raise prices, he said. 
Mulberry boss: Tourists are shunning London because of rising prices

Thierry Andretta, boss of Mulberry
Retailers have been enduring bitter conditions on the high street as they grapple with a slide in consumer confidence and rising costs linked to business rates and the National Living Wage.
Business rates, which are based on property values, rose for the first time in seven years last April leaving some companies facing crippling hikes to their bills. The hike has been blamed for piling pressure on smaller shopkeepers, but Mr Andretta's comments suggest the problem is being felt at the top end of the market as well. 
Mr Andretta said House of Fraser’s plans to shut half its store estate through a sweeping restructure was a concern, but he expected a minimal financial impact on Mulberry.  
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The comments came as Mulberry, renowned for its premium handbags, recorded an 8pc fall in reported pre-tax profits to ?6.9m for the year to March.
Once costs linked to its fringe businesses in Asia were stripped away, pre-tax profits jumped 36pc to ?11.3m over the period.
Total UK sales were flat at ?106.8m, while the international business enjoyed a 26pc rise to ?21.5m.
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Online sales also climbed 14pc to ?29m, as the company enjoyed strong customer demand for its Amberley handbags.
It also announced a new joint venture with SHK Holdings in South Korea to bolster its presence in Asia.
Mulberry and SHK will plough ?4.6m into developing the business, which will lead to Mulberry Korea being launched in the Autumn.
Investors sent shares down 8pc to ?7.12 in early afternoon trading.
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