Sadiq Khan calls to re-introduce VAT-free shopping to lure 1.5M more tourists to London

Senior retail figures have backed Sadiq Khan’s call to re-introduce VAT free shopping for tourists, claiming the move would make a “huge difference” to the sector.

Kay Buxton, chief executive of Marble Arch London BID, said that the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt  “missed a trick” at the last Budget by not reintroducing tax-free shopping and claimed the move could increase spending in the capital by £2.1bn.

Buxton explained: “Research from the Association of International Retail found that reintroducing tax-free shopping would have brought in an additional 1.6 million visitors in its first full year.

“It also estimated that these new visitors would have spent an extra £2.1bn on shopping, along with an additional £1bn on other goods and services such as hotels, restaurants and other leisure activities which would have been a vital boost for these businesses.”

Mayor Khan called for the reintroduction of VAT-free shopping, which has not been available … Read more

The Business Champion Awards ‘Sustainable Business’ finalists are released …

These finalists are making the UK a more sustainable and conscious place to do business.

Taking care of our planet and future generations should be on every business’ agenda. It takes a lot of effort to be eco-innovative – it’s not something that happens over night. Every element of the supply chain needs to be regarded and daily practices need to be embedded by every member of the team. Thankfully for the UK, these businesses placed sustainability as a firm value and transformed that value into a workable mission. Congratulations to our top ten ‘The Sustainable Business Awards’ finalists. I’m looking forward to meeting you at the grand finale in March.

Barefoot Eco Cleaning

Offsetting both theirs and their client’s carbon whilst cleaning has seen Barefoot Eco Cleaning surge forwards to a respected client base. Offering a comprehensive range of commercial and domestic cleaning services to meet each client’s needs … Read more

Barclays ‘banking pods’ to pop up in shopping centres

Barclays plans to launch a string of “banking pods” after recently announcing more branch closures.

The bank said it will expand its “flexible banking formats” in response to changing customer needs.

The plans include the launch of new banking pods, which will be purpose-built, semi-permanent structures in locations such as shopping centres and retail parks.

The pods will provide a dedicated, private space and can be moved depending on demand, the bank said.

At least 10 will be rolled out across the UK by summer 2023 following the success of the bank’s first pod in St Austell, Cornwall, Barclays said.

The bank has not yet revealed the locations for the pods, but it is understood they will be spread out, potentially popping up soon in areas such as London, the Midlands and the North East.

The pods are part of the Barclays Local initiative.

Under the scheme, which Barclays is … Read more