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Asian shoppers rival China

Emerging South East Asian shoppers catch up with China in New Year spending spree.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Asian shoppers rival China

As New Year led to another extraordinary rise in Chinese shoppers in London and the UK this January, with sales in store up 89% compared to last year, a new group of shopping tourists is emerging from South East Asia set to rival the massive Chinese market, reveals tourism shopping and spending compnay, Global Blue.

UK shops this January saw an unprecedented rise in shoppers from Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, with sales rocketing compared to January 2010. Sales in store from Singapore and Thailand grew more than China in January with 112% and 94% change respectively compared to last year; Malaysian sales matched Chinese growth at 89%, while Hong Kong lagged slightly behind with 81%.

As Chinese growth drives expansion across South East Asia, the UK is experiencing a remarkable increase in shoppers from this region, contending with the huge boom in Chinese shoppers. The UK saw a huge increase in transactions from across these countries this January compared to last year with Singapore up by 80%, Thailand up by 78%, Malaysia up by 66% and Hong Kong up by 57%.

UK retailers still reaped the benefits over the New Year period as shoppers flocked to the UK to capitalise on the favourable exchange rate. Global Blue has reported that Chinese tourists accounted for 16% of all foreign sales in store in January with average Chinese shopper spend up 18% and a 60% increase in transactions year-on-year.

Nigel Dasler, Vice President UK of Global Blue, which manages in excess of 38,000 shopper transactions each day across 40 markets, comments.“As the Chinese economy booms and drives growth across South East Asia, UK retailers are becoming savvier when it comes to attracting this highly valuable market. Retailers are going out of their way to entice Far Eastern shoppers over to our high streets. Iconic high street stores have also introduced initiatives such as Mandarin speaking shop assistants and are now starting to accept Union Pay in a bid to make the shopping experience increasingly more attractive. We expect this market to continue its significant expansion far into 2011”

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