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Holiday shoppers can bag Christmas gifts in New York for a little as one third the London price

Press Release   •   Nov 30, 2017 11:01 GMT

  • Bargain-hunting Britons can save up to 65 per cent on designer labels and 51 per cent on toys in New York
  • Four-in-five of 150 Christmas gift surveyed by Post Office Travel Money cost less in New York than in London
  • Savvy shoppers can buy a Duty Free Dream Dozen family gifts and save 40 per cent

New York has again trumped London in offering the best value Christmas gifts, according to research for the 11th annual Post Office Travel Money Christmas Shopping Guide. With sterling now eight per cent stronger than a year ago, holiday shoppers visiting the Big Apple can save up to 65 per cent on designer clothes and 51 per cent on toys.

The Post Office research found that many New York stores have cut prices to below 2016 levels to compound the benefit of the stronger pound for UK shoppers.As a result, 80 per cent of the 150 items surveyed are far cheaper in New York than in London.This includes ‘must have’ brands like Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie and Fitch, GAP, Hollister, Banana Republic and J.Crew, together with this year’s ‘must-have’ toys and the latest Apple iPad Mini.

The biggest bargains in this year’s 20 Best Buys in New York¹ are on designer denims, which outstrip most other savings in the Christmas Shopping Guide.The best deal is on a pair of Abercrombie & Fitch women’s super-skinny jeans, priced at £68 in London but just £24.06 in New York – saving 65 per cent.Men’s 501 Original Fit jeans come close with a saving of 64 per cent – under £31 in New York but £85 in London’s West End.Other bargain brands offering savings of over 50 per cent include A&F sister brand Hollister and Gap.

The Post Office says there are rich pickings in New York on most US fashion brands with fashionista favourites like J. Crew and Banana Republic a third cheaper than in London.But this year’s star buy for women is at top lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret.From a host of savings at around 15-20 per cent, eagle-eyed shoppers can pick up a Dream Angels Wicked Uplift Bra for £20.99, 45 per cent below the London price (£37.91).

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “With sterling’s recent recovery against the US dollar, there are great bargains to be struck in US shops provided shoppers have done their homework in advance. Although the vast majority of gift items are cheaper, savings vary quite a bit and some brands cost more in New York.Take a list of London prices and check carefully before splashing the cash to avoid expensive mistakes.”

For example, bargain hunters should not be tempted to buy in-vogue US brand Carhartt in a New York store. Surveyed for the first time this year, Post Office Travel Money could not find a single bargain item in New York. Instead, a pair of Carhartt Ruck Double Knee trousers cost almost a third more (£130.15) than in London (£100).

The Post Office research also found that seasoned shoppers can use their £390 duty free allowance to save a total of 40 per cent on a Dream Dozen gifts for family and friends in New York.At just under £378, a dozen Christmas gifts – including six top designer label fashions, skin care and cosmetics, toys and gadgets - cost around £250 less than in London.

DUTY FREE ALLOWANCE DREAM DOZEN New York London New York saving
Abercrombie and Fitch Women’s Low-Rise Super Skinny Jeans £24.06 £68.00 65%
Levis Men's 501 Original Fit Jeans £30.85 £85.00 64%
St Tropez Face Sheet Tanning Mask £6.42 £15.00 57%
Disney Pixar Cars 3 Movie Moves Lightning McQueen £15.74 £31.99 51%
Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels Wicked Uplift Bra £20.99 £37.91 45%
Gap Men's Merino Wool V Neck Sweatshirt £23.11 £39.95 42%
Banana Republic Women’s Dillon-Fit Denim Utility Shirt £36.25 £55.00 34%
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant £18.47 £27.00 32%
FurReal Roarin’ Tyler The Playful Tiger £99.08 £134.99 27%
J. Crew Men's Ugby Shirt (blue and white stripped) £45.89 £62.50 27%
Clinique Long Last Lipstick (matt crimson) £14.69 £19.50 25%
Amazon Fire Tablet with Alexa £41.98 £49.95 16%
£377.53 £626.79 40%

Some of the biggest transatlantic bargains are on toys tipped as Christmas 2017 bestsellers. The top saving of 51 per cent is on Disney Pixar’s Cars 3 Movie Moves Lightening McQueen (£15.74), while parents can shave 37 per cent on a Hot Wheels Street Racing Set (£25.18).Two of the toys that feature in the top 12 Dreamtoys, just announced², are among many New York bargains.The Paw Patrol Sea Patroller (£44.92) costs 36 per cent less than in London (£69.97) and the Roaring’ Tyler Playful Tiger is 27 per cent cheaper (£99.08 vs £134.99).

UK holiday shoppers can save money on some beauty items but they will need to be cautious as bargains are few and far between.Post Office researchers found savings of 57 per cent on a St Tropez Tanning Mask (£6.42) 32 percent on Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant (£18.47) and 24 per cent on a Clinique Long Last lipstick (£14.69).However, Clinique’s Brow Kit (£32.45) is 40 per cent more expensive than in London (£23.40) and an Estee Lauder Anti-Aging Eye Balm was found to cost 79 per cent more - £79.41 compared with £44.10 in Oxford Street.

Savings on electronic gadgets are more uniform.Over half of the 21 high-tech items surveyed were found to save at least 15 per cent in New York and, given the higher price tag attached to most gadgets, the savings can be sizeable. A Sony Playstation VR headset with Camera costs £393.99 in London but shoppers can shave over £58 off that price in New York (£335.87).

This year’s Best Buy gadget is the iPad Mini.Apple enthusiasts can bring back the latest version – the iPad Mini 4 - from New York and save 20 per cent - £84 - into the bargain (New York price: £335, London price: £419).

Andrew Brown said: “Make the most of sterling’s improving value by getting the best US dollar rate before leaving home. Take enough cash to cover both shopping and living costs to avoid incurring charges for using ATMs in New York - and be aware that transactions of over £500 will attract a better rate in our branches or on the Post Office website.A good way to avoid exceeding the £390 duty free allowance is to carry this on our prepaid Travel Money Card, which can be used just like plastic.”

Over 4,000 larger Post Office branches offer US dollars on demand and they can be ordered online at postoffice.co.uk for same day collection at selected branches, for next day collection at any branch or home delivery. Up to 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 Post Office branches or online at postoffice.co.uk for next day branch or home delivery.

Prices for gift items in London and New York can be compared in the 2017 New York/London Christmas Shopping Guide at www.postoffice.co.uk/christmas-shopping.

Ends

For more information, please contact:

Joanne Leahy Post Office Press Office07791 894469

Joanne.Leahy@postoffice.co.uk

Christine BallCBPR01798 874177 / 07976 285997cball@cballpr.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

¹ See attached 20 Best Buys in New York table detailing the price comparisons between New York and London

² The Toy Retailers Association’s DreamToys list is decided by a panel of leading toy retailers including Argos, The Entertainer, Hamleys, Selfridges, Smyths Toys, Toys R US and Toy Town.This year’s toys were unveiled on 8 November 2017.

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