The ‘No Japan’ boycott is driving Korean shoppers to Europe, according to new research from Global Blue, with the UK seeing a 9 percent and 12 percent rise in tax free spend during the third and second quarters of 2019 respectively.

This in contrast to Korean tax-free spend in Japan, which decreased by 40 percent in Q3, as South Korea has been boycotting Japanese products, after Japan announced export restrictions of a chemicals crucial to the electronic industry due to suspicion of an illegal supply to North Korea.

Tax-free shopping company Global Blue said the ‘No Japan’ movement, which has become popular on social media has had a “significant negative impact” on Japanese brands in Korea, and Japan as a shopping and tourist destination, as well as the overall performance of tax-free shopping in Asia.

This has led to Korean shoppers heading to Europe, with the UK not being the only country to benefit, as France and Italy have also experienced similar levels of spend progression with increases of 5 percent and 9 percent respectively.

 

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