British luxury sector contributing £81 billion to the UK economy

A new report from Walpole has revealed that the British luxury sector is contributing 3.7% of the UK’s GDP, with automotives driving growth in the industry

British luxury sector WalpoleWalpole, the industry body for the British luxury sector, revealed in a new report that the UK luxury sector now contributes £81 billion to the UK economy. Titled Luxury in the Making, the study, which has been produced in association with Frontier Economics, also revealed that the luxury sector accounts for 3.7% of the UK’s GDP, which is a 69% increase since 2022.

The companies that operate under the British luxury sector have also, directly and indirectly, had a hand in supporting over 450,000 jobs throughout the country across a range of roles like design and digital, high-tech manufacturing and heritage crafts. Meanwhile, the UK luxury sector’s total exports are £45 billion, which has seen an increase of 45% in the last five years.Automotives British luxury sectorThis growth is particularly impressive because it has happened in spite of the macro environmental challenges the UK has faced over the years like the Covid pandemic, Brexit, supply chain issues and increasing energy costs.

According to the report, the biggest contributing factor to this growth (a £32.9 billion turnover in five years) comes from the UK’s high-end automotive sector, which includes brands like Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover and Bentley. The second highest contributor is food and drink with a turnover of £12.02 billion.

Speaking about their findings, Walpole’s chief executive Helen Brocklebank expressed her delight at how the British luxury sector has become “vital to the UK economy”.“We have quantified the significant high-quality employment offered by the sector throughout every region in the UK across hospitality, retail and manufacturing,” said Helen. “The UK luxury industry deserves recognition and support to ensure our high-growth sector continues to flourish.”

Looking into the future, Walpole’s report forecasts that by 2028, British luxury could contribute £125 billion a year to the UK economy, which would be more revenue than the life sciences and construction industries, which are currently worth £97 and £110 billion a year, respectively. 

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