Tax-free tourist shopping up at Kildare Village

Shoppers from all over the world are boosting sales at Kildare Village.

Shoppers from all over the world are boosting sales at Kildare Village.

Tax-refunded sales, whereby foreign shoppers from outside the EU can claim back the VAT on items purchased in Ireland, are up 81 percent year-on-year to the end of May.

The outlet retail mall on the outskirts of Kildare town has increased an 81 per cent year-on-year increase in such sales to the end of May, thanks to tourists from China, the Middle East and Russia, amongst other places.

Maria McGovern of Kildare Village says there is an opportunity for Ireland to become a destination for “shopping tourists”. These are travellers for whom shopping ranks as high, if not higher, as sightseeing and socialising on their holiday ‘to do’ lists.

Kildare Village certainly has plans to expand. In February it lodged a planning application with Kildare County Council to develop the site between the current shopping mall at M7’s Junction 13 and the newly-opened Tesco.

It proposes to add 34 more shops, two restaurants, a tourist information centre and a bigger car park to its existing development.

Kildare County Council has requested more information on its plans before it makes a decision.

The ‘Chic Summer’ festival, which was launched last week by Daisy Lowe, is currently underway at Kildare Village.