updated 21 Aug 2010, 13:28
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Best Europe airport buys: Rome for bags, perfumes in London

For airport shopping deals, Rome tops Europe's busiest airports, followed by Frankfurt  and Berlin, but best buys for bags, perfumes or drink vary hugely from one hub to the next, a survey said this week.

A Dolce&Gabbana "Hobo" bag for instance can be picked up for 850 euros (S$ 1472) at Rome airport but costs 1,245 (S$2156) at London's Heathrow, according to a Centre for Retail Research survey.

Britain's Gatwick and Heathrow are cheapest of all for humdrum stuff like cigarettes, perfume and alcohol, said the survey released by online shopping site Kelkoo.

A Panasonic FZ38 digital camera was on sale for 327 euros (S$566) at Heathrow but 168 (S$290) in Paris or Lyon, it said.

The survey of 10 airports - in Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain- representing 383 million passengers, or 80 percent of European traffic, compared a basket of 22 products from cigarette cartons to expensive electronics worth an average 3,193 euros (S$5529).

Duty free shopping was scrapped in 1999 for Europeans flying inside the EU, but travellers can expect tax free airport deals 6.2 percent cheaper than city retail on average, the study said.

In comparison, online shoppers can do even better, purchasing at 12 percent less than retail, it added.

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