Adventures in Foreign Exchange, Booze Edition

By Reuters Staff
March 11, 2009

I’m back from England, which is clearly a country where the populace is highly aware of international exchange rates. The pound has imploded of late, which is why you see ads like this at Heathrow’s Duty Free shop ("At current exchange rates, it pays to buy before you fly"):

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But some currencies have done even worse, which is why you see ads like this on the London Underground ("Take advantage of the best exchange rate in years!"):

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Incidentally, my local NYC wine merchant sells Piper Heidsieck for $33 a bottle; if you spent £35 on two bottles at Heathrow, that works out to about $24 apiece. And when it comes to my favorite Duty Free purchase, Scotch, I can tell you that after years of finding the Heathrow prices significantly higher than NYC prices, they’re now signficantly lower again. Bowmore cask strength was being sold at £31 per liter or £57 for two liters: that’s equivalent to less than $30 for a 750cl bottle here in the US. Cheers!

Reprinted from Portfolio.com

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