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China's Spring Festival to give UK retail a 20% boost this week

UK retailers are expected to enjoy a Golden Week sales bonanza during China’s Spring Festival this week according to research by payment processing company WorldPay.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

China's Spring Festival to give UK retail a 20% boost this week

UK retailers are expected to enjoy a Golden Week sales bonanza during China’s Spring Festival this week according to research by payment processing company WorldPay.

The festival, which began on 1 February after the start of the Chinese New Year, will see Chinese tourists flock to the UK in search of bargains and tax free shopping to boost spending in the UK by an estimated 20%.

WorldPay’s forecast for Chinese retail spend is based on analysis from the last Golden Week in October 2013, when there was a 20% rise in card payments from Chinese shoppers in search of British heritage and luxury brands.

The last Golden Week saw an average sale value of £115.84, which was a marked increase on the average sale value of £93.72 seen in December 2013.

”The number of payments WorldPay processed from Chinese shoppers increased by over 10% year-on-year from 2012 to 2013.” said Dave Hobday, managing director of WorldPay UK. “Retailers need to up their game when it comes to welcoming international shoppers. Simple things like letting them pay using the card they want to, like China UnionPay, can make a huge difference to the whole shopping experience.”

According to the China Tourism Academy, some 200 million Chinese nationals will travel abroad annually by 2020 with the wealthiest expected to travel to London to shop for luxury goods such as handbags, shoes and watches.

According to WorldPay, it will not just be London retailers that benefit from the increase in Chinese visitor numbers. Outside London, Northern Ireland and Manchester were ranked in the top five UK shopping destinations, with Stoke-on-Trent seeing a 42% growth in transaction volumes in this area.

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