If there was ever a definitive retail capital, London would be on the short list. The UK capital is a haven for well-heeled spendthrifts from across the globe and sees its streets swell with shopping bags each summer – and throughout the year. That’s why London Marriott Hotel Park Lane wants to do more for shoppers through its new partnership with Selfridges on Oxford Street. Guests will now be offered an exclusive VIP experience that includes VIP treatment and other benefits.
Once checked in, guests can head to Selfridges for a glass of Champagne (or tea and coffee) at Harry Gordon’s Bar & Kitchen or The Corner Restaurant & Champagne Bar. There’s also access to the VIP area of Selfridges’ fourth floor where coats and bags can be ditched, leaving you more dexterous for a day’s shopping. International guests will also benefit from the fast track service at the Tax Refund Lounge.
Upon returning to the hotel, guests can enjoy the recently renovated hotel interiors and retreat to the Executive Lounge to catch their breath and let their credit cards cool down before indulging in luxurious services such as shoe shining at The Jaunty Flâneur and Park Lane’s only swimming pool.
The VIP shopping package is available until December 31 and starts from GBP 400 (US $626) excluding VAT, including an overnight stay for two in an Executive Level room or above, complimentary drinks and coat check on arrival at Selfridges Oxford Street and access to their VIP area of the 4th floor lounge.
New research from VisitBritain shows that shopping is one of the most popular activities for international visitors to the UK, with 64 per cent of all visits last year involving shopping. Tourists spent around GBP 5.5 billion (US $8.57 billion) getting their retail fix across shopping centres, outlet malls, boutiques and gift shops.
“Retail therapy is one of the great relaxing pursuits for international holiday visitors to the UK – with 80 per cent going shopping,” said Patricia Yates, the national tourism agency’s director of strategy and communications. “And, average spend for people who come to the UK primarily to shop is GBP 346 ($540) a night, a huge lift on the average spend of GBP 83 ($130). Inbound tourism is Britain’s third biggest service export and supports sectors such as retail as well as hotels and attractions.”
Women are most likely to go shopping during their visit; three quarters of women (77 per cent) shopped compared to 54 per cent of men, and shopping on London’s Oxford Street is the second most appealing activity to potential female visitors to the UK. Visiting a luxury store is also reflected in high-spend across Asian markets, with over 40 per cent of visitors from Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore opting to peruse more high-end retail destinations.