Tax free sales have increased by 71% to reach a total of EUR 19.65 million in Lappeenranta and Imatra in eastern Finland during the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period one year ago, according to data from Global Blue Finland. Lappeenranta and Imatra are located near the Russian border and have become popular shopping destinations for Russian visitors.
In Lappeenranta tax free sales were EUR 16.5 million during the first quarter, compared to EUR 9.6 million one year ago. In Imatra tax free sales have grown from EUR 1.8 million to EUR 3 million in the same period. Clothes have been by far the most popular tax free items purchased by the Russian visitors. In the first quarter of this year, tax free clothes sales reached a total of EUR 13.8 million in Imatra and Lappeenranta.
Lappeenranta and Imatra made up 38% of Finland’s total tax free sales in the first quarter of 2011. Helsinki’s share of tax free sales was EUR 17.9 million in the first quarter of 2011. The next biggest tax free sales figures were recorded by Joensuu, Vantaa and Kotka.
Sources: Etelä-Karjalan Uutiset, Kauppalehti