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Manchester benefits from surge in Chinese tourist spend

Chinese tourists spend more in Manchester stores than any other nationality and now represent 50% of international spend in the city.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Manchester benefits from surge in Chinese tourist spend

Chinese tourists spend more in Manchester stores than any other nationality and now represent 50% of international spend in the city.

Figures released by tax-free shopping company Global Blue show that visitors from China spent 29% more on tax-free shopping in Manchester during 2013 compared to the previous year, with an average transaction spend of £677.

There was also a surge in spending by visitors from Kuwait and Thailand with retail sales increasing by 70% and 73% respectively in 2013 compared to the previous year.

Additional figures sourced by the Heart of Manchester BID, which represents over 380 city centre retailers, support Global Blue’s findings by revealing that half of Selfridge’s tax free sales at its Exchange Square store are generated by Chinese customers.

Women’s accessories are among the most popular purchases. Brands favoured by international shoppers include Givenchy, Kenzo, Balenciaga, Shiseido, Sisley and Kilian.

Gordon Clark, UK country manager at Global Blue, said: “To maximise the potential of this market, retailers should introduce tax free shopping facilities to encourage higher spend and accommodate these shoppers by introducing multilingual staff and marketing materials, offering China Union Pay acceptance and aiding staff with cultural sales training to cater to specific shopper needs.”

In line with the growth of international shoppers Marketing Manchester has produced a guide to tax free shopping in the city. The guide highlights the best of Manchester's shopping offering, provides a list of tax free retailers in Manchester as well as instructions on how and where to redeem tax refunds.

Global Blue’s top ten global shopper nations in Manchester during 2013 were as follows:

  • China
  • Kuwait
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Indonesia
  • Nigeria
  • UAE

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