RETAILERS are charging UK shoppers more than EU consumers for the same products, new research has found.

Stores like Zara are charging up to 50% more than they do in some European countries, while popular products from Ikea and Decathlon are more expensive in the UK, an investigation by Guardian Money revealed.

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The survey revealed that a Zara linen tunic dress would cost £49.99 in the UK, which is the equivalent of 58.70 in euros. However, the same dress costs just 49.95 euros in Germany, Ireland and Italy – and just 39.95 in Spain, where the company originated.

The same rule applied to a men’s hoodie from the retailer which was £45.99 in the UK, equivalent to 53.99 euros. The same product goes for 35.62 in Spain, leaving the UK consumer paying 50% more.

The National:

Other Zara products had a whopping 56% difference between the UK and mainland Europe.

Its sister brand Massimo Dutti also appears to charge more for some products in the UK, for example with one wool suit blazer costing the equivalent of 89 euros more in Britain than it would in Spain.


Other stores charging more for UK consumers included French sports retailer Decathlon. At a UK store, customers are asked to pay £1299.99 for a Riverside electric bike, equivalent to 1525 euros. However in mainland European countries like France, Spain, and Italy, the price is around 325 euros less.

The company directly blamed Brexit for the cost differences, saying the situation has put pressure on costs.

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A spokesperson said: “The UK’s exit from the European Union has made it more expensive to import stock. It also meant that Decathlon UK had to expand the size of the supply team in order to deal with the additional administration, costs and duties associated with Britain’s exit from the customs union.

“In the UK specifically, we have the obvious challenges involved in dealing with constantly changing exchange rates, coupled with the post-Brexit burden of having to pay import duties twice on a number of products (once as goods enter the EU, and again once they enter the UK).”


Ikea is another major retailer where some products cost more for UK customers. While some items, like the famous Billy bookcase, are priced very similarly across the board, this rule does not apply to all stock.

The best-selling Klippan sofa costs almost a third more for UK consumers at the equivalent of 327 euros, compared to just 249 euros in France.

The furniture retailer said costs differ from country to country based on materials, “transport, logistical costs and local market conditions” – they did not blame the UK’s exit from the EU as Decathlon did.

Guardian Money’s investigation took place from July 18-19, and currency conversions were done on July 22.

The National:

SNP international trade spokesperson Drew Hendry pointed out how frustrating the figures were, given that some 62% of Scots backed Remain in 2016.

"Businesses and consumers in Scotland are paying more as a result of Brexit, which we didn't even vote for," he told The National.

"Indeed, Scotland has been disproportionately affected on a number of fronts since we were dragged out of the EU against our will, with each Scot facing a Brexit bill of around £1200 amidst a Tory made cost of living crisis.

"As the Tory government sits on its hands and does hee-haw to ease the impact of Brexit and the cost of living crisis, it's never been clearer that Scotland would fare better as an independent country inside the EU."

The study was carried out before the UK saw significant chaos at the border with France.

Tens of thousands of families saw their cross-Channel journeys ruined last weekend by gridlocked traffic and delays of several hours, and a serious crash on the M20 coinciding with the school holidays.

Britain and France announced late last week that they have put plans in place to prevent further disruption.

Both Tory leadership candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss denied the situation was in any way linked to Brexit.

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Pressed on whether the situation has ultimately been caused by the UK leaving the EU and more checks having to be carried out, Truss insisted it has been caused by a lack of resources.

She said: “This is a situation that has been caused by a lack of resource at the border.

“And that is what the French authorities need to address and that is what I am being very clear with them about.”