Bournemouth, shopping haven for Europeans

One man’s sorrow is another man’s joy. That could not better explain the current economic situation in Bournemouth, as Europeans flock to Britain to spend their cash.
While the pound’s value is continuing to decrease, the euro is staying steady, permitting Europeans to have a more advantageous exchange rate. And Bournemouth being a popular destination, it is enjoying the effects of tourists’ spending spree.
Eurozone shoppers are particularly interested by fashion bargains, as Claire Jones, manager for Ann Summers in Bournemouth, notices: “Foreigners represent 20% of our clientele. And because of the current situation, our clients, who are mostly from eastern Europe, can buy our luxury products at better value”.
While the British are trying to refrain on spending, Europeans are thinking the opposite way. Jean-Pierre Foray, a retired head teacher from France, often travels to Bournemouth, and is particularly appreciative of the current situation. “If think I have spend a bit more this year than usual, especially with my credit card as they don’t charge transactions. I would definitely consider coming more often to England this year because of the prices.”
Lee Watkiss, employee of Eurochange in Bournemouth admits that there has been no better time for Europeans to spend money in England : “Currently 1 euro buys 84 pence, whereas 12 months ago it was only 71 pence. The pound has hit its lowest point in five years, and it will probably get worse before it gets better”.
But most of European customers are undeniably students, therefore aren’t necessarily the biggest clients. Alex Falkiewicz, a Polish floor manager at Monsoon, says : “We have loads of German people on school trips who buy a lot of small things”.
Allyson Farnes, manager at Miss Selfridge, agrees that there is a high population of international students in Bournemouth, and that it affects her sales. She particularly noticed an increase in September.With this positive income from across the channel, it is no wonder most shop managers in Bournemouth aren’t too worried about the credit crunch. “We have no concern about it” says Miss Jones, “and we expect as much Christmas shopping as last year”.

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