Premier Tax Free helps Hugo Boss increase tax free shopping by 150%

A reported 30.6 million tourists came to the UK during 2011, spending a massive £17.8 billion while here and averaging £580 per visit[i][i]. With 2012 expected to be an exceptional year, particularly in London, Hugo Boss is making sure it is prepared to make the most of the expected upsurge in visitors. International tourists visiting any of Hugo Boss’ 38 stores across the UK can take advantage of an additional 16 per cent discount on their purchase as a result of tax free shopping provided by Premier Tax Free, a leading international tourist tax refunding service provider.


With Premier Tax Free’s Premier Automatic payment solution replacing Hugo Boss’ card processing terminals, staff at the points of sale (POS) can identify international credit and debit cards eligible for tax refunds. The system then automatically prints a VAT refund form for the customer to complete in-store before presenting it and the receipt to customs as they exit the UK.  VAT can then be refunded either directly to a bank account or redeemed at a cash refund location that can be found throughout the world.


Previously handling tax-free shopping was a labour intensive and time-consuming exercise handled separately from the payment process. Lucy Chandhial, Head of Business Development at Hugo Boss, says, “Before we moved to Premier Tax Free our sales staff had to identify international shoppers who may be eligible for VAT refunds whist they were in the store and provide them with the necessary paperwork. This took valuable time on the shop floor and a lot of effort from the customer. Now, with Premier Automatic the process is efficient and straightforward.”


Chandhial continues, “As the Premier Automatic solution is so proactive we are finding more shoppers eligible for tax refunds, especially outside of major shopping areas such as London. This is already showing great results. Hugo Boss has already increased the number of VAT refunds by more than 150 per cent since installing the solution.” Hugo Boss then earns an additional percentage rebate for all those who claim their tax back. Chandhial says, “Overall, we are already about £100,000 better off for the first year as a result of Premier Tax Free, half of that is reinvested back into the company and the remainder is used to help fund our international marketing campaigns, designed to highlight the brand to tourists across the globe.”


Premier Automatic is a leading-edge, fully automated VAT refund solution that is free of charge for the retailer. It offers card identification software, which automatically recognises the origin of a credit or debit card, and subsequently, whether the customer is eligible for a VAT refund. As it is installed on the existing point of sale payment terminal, it is the fastest and most intelligent way for retailers to offer tax-free shopping.


Hugo Boss has also included multicurrency payments in this solution with Dynamic Currency Conversion at its till points. This provides ‘real time’ currency conversion for foreign customers, showing the price of the purchase in both currencies and the real-time exchange rate. This ensures that international customers feel more informed and in control of their money whilst travelling and have the choice to pay in their local currency. Dynamic Currency Conversion provides a competitive monthly rebate on the credit card transactions for Hugo Boss, reducing its merchant bank charges and further enhances their POS service as the customer no longer needs to convert currencies manually.


In addition, Premier Tax Free provides Hugo Boss with marketing support to reach tourists while they are on the move and when they arrive in the UK. This includes reduced advertising rates and compelling marketing packages in pre-travel, in-inflight and tourist focused media, as well as through concierge networks and events. The brand is also reinforced in an international Shopping Guide app and website as well as in the Premier Tax Free Shopping Guides, which are distributed at tourist information centres and in four and five star hotels, as well as in-flight and online.


Hugo Boss is one of the world market leaders in premium fashion selling its products in 124 countries worldwide at more than 6,100 points of sale. Chandhial comments, “As an international brand it is important for us to provide excellent and consistent customer service across the globe and be front of mind as our customers travel. With Premier Tax Free not only are we able to offer additional services and increase customer satisfaction, but we can ensure we are visible throughout their journey; in airports, planes, trains and hotels.”


Operating in over 30 markets spanning five continents, Premier Tax Free services over 90,000 retailer partners worldwide, including brands such as Harvey Nicols, Westfield London, Radley, Escada, Cath Kidston and Mango, helping them to provide a better shopping experience for international customers. It also provides reports on tourist shopping activity in specific areas over set times. This enables its clients to spot general tourist trends in major shopping areas and help them benchmark themselves, and their sales, accordingly. Retailers can take action to ensure that they take advantage of these trends through in shop displays and special offers. This will be increasingly relevant over 2012 with tourists coming in for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.


“Premier Tax Free have made our priorities their priority by focussing on our customers and the service we can provide to them. Customers want tax free shopping and it is important that Hugo Boss can offer it, especially as 2012 will be a bumper year for tourist sales, so we are glad to be ready,” says Chandhial.


Chandhial concludes, “Premier Tax Free go beyond providing tax free shopping and Dynamic Currency Conversion, becoming vital to how we engage with visiting customers through the international marketing support and benchmarking information. We really value the proactivity of the system and it has made a real difference to our customers. In addition, we have an excellent relationship with the support team. The roll-out was very quick and they are very responsive, ready to react and provide assistance when it is needed.”

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