A crucial element of Walpole’s mission is to represent the interests of the UK luxury sector, working with key stakeholders across government and media to ensure the sector’s priorities are understood and that government policy supports the future growth of luxury and its contribution to manufacturing and highly skilled, sustainable jobs.

Walpole does this by acting as a collective voice on the following business-critical areas for members and the wider industry in Westminster, and via its partnership with the European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance in Brussels.

Walpole member Mulberry launched its Made to Last Manifesto this year. Read the story here.


In January 2020 Walpole launched the British Luxury Sustainability , a commitment to helping the luxury sector become the global leader in sustainability. Eight sector Working Groups regularly collaborate on four key pillars: the transition to a circular economy, safeguarding natural resources and the environment, increasing sustainable practices and advocating for equal and respectful working conditions.

Download Walpole's Sustainability Manifesto
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Value of the Sector
to the UK economy
Walpole’s Economic Impact Report


The British luxury sector grew by 49% from 2013-2017


The British luxury sector is now worth £48 billion


The British luxury sector could be worth £65 billion by 2024
The British luxury sector is an important contributor to the UK economy, driving sustainable employment and significantly contributing to the UK’s international reputation through exports and tourism. Produced by Frontier Economics in 2019, the second edition of Walpole’s Economic Impact Report demonstrated that the British luxury sector grew by 49% over a four year period and - pre-Covid - contributed £48 billion to the economy. The report highlights both the economic value and soft power the sector brings to the UK, as well as the important contribution luxury businesses make to employment, skills and manufacturing across the country.
Download Economic Impact Report
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Protecting the luxury sector distribution model
The ability for luxury brands to carefully select and manage their network of partners and distributors is central to maintaining the customer experience and preserving the aura of luxury. Walpole and its partners in ECCIA take an active role in ensuring that policy relating to luxury distribution models, in particular selective distribution, is protected both in the UK and the EU.
Selective Distribution news
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Covid Recovery
Pre-pandemic, the UK luxury sector was growing at a rate of nearly 10% each year, double that of GDP. Since March 2020, luxury businesses, their supply chains and the local communities they support have been devastated by the effect of lockdowns and lack of international shoppers to the UK. This, coupled with the business difficulties brought about by the UK leaving the European Union, has deeply impacted the luxury sector’s ability to maintain its phenomenal growth over the last decade. Walpole sets out the levers which the Government needs to use to assist recovery.
Covid Recovery News
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Tourism & International
Visitor Experience
The luxury sector is a key driver of inbound tourism and plays a vital role in the appeal of the UK to international visitors. Walpole’s tourism work includes taking an active role in visa simplification - particularly for Chinese visitors - and latterly the campaign to reverse the Treasury’s decision to abolish tax-free shopping in the UK.
Latest International News
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Tax-Free Shopping
On January 1st 2021, the Treasury withdrew the tax-free shopping scheme in the UK - despite extensive campaigning by Walpole and its partners. The decision was greeted by dismay over its financial implications and the government’s lack of understanding of the importance of international high-net-worth customers (HNW) to the economy. There is now an urgent imperative for the luxury sector to work through the implications of this change for future international customers, who will now lack a significant incentive to travel here to shop when global travel resumes.
Tax Free Shopping News
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Walpole is a founder of the European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance (ECCIA), composed of the six national European luxury goods and creative industries organisations: Walpole; Circulo Fortuny (Spain); Comité Colbert (France); Fondazione Altagamma (Italy); Meisterkreis (Germany); and Gustaf III Kommitté (Sweden). Collectively the ECCIA represents the interests of over 600 European high-end, creative and cultural businesses, with its work falling into three main areas of activity: protection of IP and governance of the internet; market access and tourism; and highlighting the role of the cultural and creative industries as a key driver of Europe’s overall economic health, competitiveness, innovation and employment.
ECCIA news
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International Trade
80% of British luxury goods in value terms is destined for export markets including the US, China, Japan, South Korea and the Middle East. Walpole has well-established relationships with the Department of International Trade and the GREAT Campaign and works to ensure the best possible environment exists for the luxury sector to continue selling products around the globe and assisting in the growth of new markets for the UK.
International Trade News
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The UK’s exit from the European Union in January 2021 brought a series of luxury sector-specific administrative burdens, additional costs and delays in supply chains and when selling abroad. Walpole advocates on behalf of the sector to ensure the UK government understands luxury’s unique challenges when doing business with Europe, and retains a voice in Brussels through its membership with ECCIA.
Brexit News
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Advocacy News

Public Policy
Public Policy
23rd Nov 2023
How will the Autumn Statement impact British Luxury?
On 22nd November 2023, the Chancellor of the Exchequer updated the House of Commons on the state of the economy, as well as the Government's intentions for changes to taxes and spending over the coming months. How will these affect the British luxury sector? Our public policy team breaks down the key points for Walpole members
Public Policy
Public Policy
3rd Aug 2023
It's time to act on tourist tax
As the call for tax-free shopping grows louder in both the luxury sector and the press, Walpole CEO Helen Brocklebank issues a clarion call to all members to make sure they contact their constituency MP ahead of September's business debate in the House of Commons
CEO Letter
CEO Letter
25th Oct 2022
Walpole welcomes the appointment of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister
Following the resignation of Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak is now the leader of the Conservative Party. Here, Walpole's Chief Executive Officer Helen Brocklebank sends her congratulations - and breaks down what the new Prime Minister needs to do to support the British luxury sector...