On Thursday, June 23rd, the 52% of British voters chose to divorce the E.U. The decision to break up, a.k.a. Brexit, was largely motivated by economic and political issues across the continent. The decision is already having an impact on global markets. According to Luxury Daily, “the news of which caused a $2 trillion hit to global stocks, the pound to fall 10 percent to the dollar and the euro to drop 3 percent.” The secession from the union will be a two-year process but British goods are already on sale.
As widely predicated, chief concerns are the fate of the rich’s investments in the UK. How will the London Stock Exchange perform? Will the rising costs of British materials cause the price of goods to skyrocket? Are visa requirements likely to return? Anti-immigrant backlash, xenophobia, and fear of terrorism fueled the no-E.U. vote. It sounds like Trump can make a few friends in the U.K.
If you already have your calendar marked to take a trip to London, go! No visa is needed and regulations can unexpectedly change for foreigners. If travel documentation requirements change, nonnatives may need weeks or months to process their papers. That could mean trouble for impulse or indecisive travelers.
The U.K. has a strong and proud tradition of luxury manufacturing. This is not the end of the road for Burberry, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and other British-associated brands. However, the pound has already fallen 10% to the dollar. Because the dollar is the strongest it’s been against the pound in modern history, U.S. shoppers visiting the U.K. are in for a treat. Savvy shoppers can grab luxury handbags at almost a 10% discount from last week. A Mary Katrantzou dress from Selfridges was about $2,606 last month. Now, it’s roughly $1,985.
Are the efforts many luxury companies put toward harmonizing prices globally all for nothing now? The relative statuses of the pound, euro, yen, and dollar are seemingly unknown. London may be the go-to destination for U.S. shoppers to get the best deal on goods from Chanel, LVMH, and Hermes. Now may be the time to finally pay a visit to Big Ben and pull the trigger on that premier purse or heritage trench of your dreams.
Images: Luxury Daily, Selfridges, TTGMedia