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Chinese shoppers out in force for new year celebrations

Luxury brands help Chinese customers bring in Year of the Horse with exclusive products and services

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Chinese shoppers out in force for new year celebrations

Foreign travellers’ shopping and spending experts Global Blue reports retailers are preparing themselves for a week long spending spree from Chinese shoppers as they flock to the UK for the Chinese New Year holiday (31 January – 6 February).

Next to the national Golden Week in October, the lunar New Year is one of the biggest holiday periods for Chinese tourists making shopping focused trips abroad. Golden Week 2013 saw spend by Chinese visitors soar by 35% Y-O-Y, and following a total increase in Chinese spend of 34% Y-O-Y for 2013, Global Blue is predicting a massive surge in spend this New Year holiday as visitors celebrate the start of the Year of the Horse.

Luxury brands are set to benefit the most over the holiday with the rise of the independent high-net-worth young Chinese travellers overtaking the trend for en-masse group travel. Favouring fine handbags, jewellery and watches from high-end brands, Chinese globe shoppers spent an average of £741 per tax free transaction across the UK in 2013. In the London Luxury Quarter, an area covering Mayfair, Piccadilly and St James’s and home to two-thirds of the world’s top 100 luxury brands, average transaction values reach as high as £1,600.

Mark Henderson, chairman of London Luxury Quarter, said: “Across retail, leisure and hospitality, businesses throughout the London Luxury Quarter are looking forward to welcoming Chinese visitors. Last year, we saw an increase in spend from our Chinese visitors during Golden Week of 37% and are hoping to see a boost this year. The majority of our stores have Mandarin speakers to make our visitors feel welcome.”

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