Dear Chanel, why did you stop stocking iconic bags at Heathrow? You heartbreaker! The most favorite store for every Chanel shopper is the Chanel boutique in London Heathrow airport at Terminal 3. More about this later on.Located in the United Kingdom, near London, the Heathrow Airport is one of the most popular destinations to shop for designer handbags. Why? Because our favorite brands are located at the tax-free area. So why not shop Chanel, Hermes, Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada at Heathrow airport.
Europe is already famous for shopping high fashion goods, because they’re cheaper than most of the countries due to the VAT refund policy. However, if you apply for VAT refund, you need to pay a fee to the company that helps you process the application. But if you buy directly at Heathrow airport, the VAT will not be included in the price and thus you don’t need to apply for tax-refund at all.
Price comparison Heathrow airport vs boutiques
To clarify what we mean by VAT free is better than a refund, we made a calculation between buying at Heathrow airport and at the boutiques.We took the current retail price of the Chanel Jumbo Classic Flap Bag, which is £4450 GBP (price as per June 2017). Then we create a calculation of Heathrow tax-free price and the price at the boutiques in the UK.Price Heathrow airport
Airport Tax-free Prices
Price UK boutiques with VAT-refund
Retail Price – VAT Refund
So the bag costs £3708 GBP at Heathrow and £3827 GBP after you get the VAT refund.“Buying at Heathrow airport is less expensive”We took the Chanel bag as an example, but this is also an example for other designer brands like Louis Vuitton, Chloe, Hermes and so on. And it doesn’t matter what goods you buy, the prices at Heathrow airport for a brand-new items are cheaper than at the retail stores.
You can only buy VAT free if you leave the EU
Here’s the bad news, not everyone gets to buy VAT free at Heathrow airport. You get the VAT free prices only when you’re about to leave Europe to another country. So Heathrow must be your final destination.But how can they know?The SA will ask for your flight ticket when you are the cashier. If you’re qualified, they will offer you the goods without VAT and you can enjoy more discount.But if you’re not flying outside Europe, then the SA will give the same price as at the boutiques in London. So the prices will be with VAT. And of course, you can apply for VAT refund later on.
Airports have limited stock
Buying at airport is a great experience, but there is short supply of space and a lot of shops. The location is not cheap as well, so the stores can only carry limited stock. Usually, you will find a lot of small accessories like wallets, but the bags can be limited.Since 2013, Chanel has announced that they will stop selling iconic handbags at Heathrow. There are six types of iconic’s, which include the Chanel Classic Flap Bag, Chanel Reissue 2.55 Bag, and Chanel Classic Quilted Boy Bag. The WOCs, Mini Classic Bags as well as the Mini Reissue 2.55 Bags have all been spotted.
Shopping at Terminal 3
As you can see, there is lot of terminals. But if you’re looking for the crème de la crème, go to terminal 3 (T3). That’s where the boutiques are where you can find lot handbags.At terminal 3, make sure you get to level 1, the departure lounge. This entire section is Duty Free and there are numerous of boutiques, from Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton to Burberry and Mulberry.
T5 is the next stop to go if you have the time. It has boutiques like Chanel, Chloe, Hermes, Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton. These stores are located at level 2. If you want to go to Harrods, go to level 3 (after check-in).