Stena Line has seen a spike in revenue for its onboard sales thanks to the return of duty free after Brexit – even though passenger numbers are well down due to Covid.
Following Brexit, duty free sales are permitted onboard ferry routes between the UK and the EU – with up to 60% off compared to some mainland shop prices on alcohol, cigarettes and cosmetics.
Sales figures on the Irish Sea between Wales and Ireland are up 53% for the first three months of the year – compared to the same period in 2020. This is despite a near 70% fall in passenger numbers.
It is because each passenger is spending big in stores on trips between Wales and Ireland.
Stephen Bryden, Stena Line’s head of onboard sales and services, said: “We have invested heavily in revamping and, in some cases, extending our onboard shops so the response is very positive and has outstripped our expectations.
“Following the large demand that we are experience from people eager to enjoy the savings they can make onboard, the company will now be extending our sales offering even further.
“The ferry sector has suffered worse than many other sectors as we have remained fully operational 24/7 during pandemic, despite having lower passenger and freight levels, so the boost from duty free is a welcome side-effect of Brexit not only for us but for all our passengers too.”