Retailers are gearing up for a week-long spending spree from Chinese shoppers, as China’s special national holiday celebration – Golden Week, kicked off on Sunday (30th September – 7th October 2012).
According to shopping experts, Global Blue, with the rare combination of the one day Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival (30th September), and the National Day week-long holiday (1st – 7th October), falling at the same time, as well as university registrations opening for international students – retail and travel companies are calling this year ‘Super’ Golden Week.
Whilst Golden Week was first established in 1999 to boost low domestic consumption after the financial crisis across Asia, it is now considered a time for travelling abroad and spending.
In 2011, it was estimated that 2.2 million Chinese went overseas during National Golden Week, a 10% increase on the year before. Chinese visitor numbers will also be boosted by high-spending Chinese students travelling to the UK, as universities increasingly welcome international students.
TAX FREE SHOPPING
Richard Brown, Vice President of Global Blue commented: “Retailers are preparing for a significant uplift in Chinese shoppers over the next week, and hope to repeat the staggering 49% YOY growth in tax free sales from Chinese shoppers reported in October 2011, including last year’s ‘Golden Week’ period.
Luxury brands are set to benefit the most from this uplift, with Chinese shoppers spending on average £642 per tax free transaction, favouring handbags, jewellery and watches.”
Sales from Chinese visitors in the UK increased by 64% year on year in 2011. Richard Brown adds: “Products are becoming more diversified and the demand for high end, luxury products, and tailor-made services is increasing among Chinese shoppers.”
Jace Tyrell, Director at New West End Company says: “Retailers on Bond Street, Oxford Street, and Regent Street are ensuring they are well equipped to welcome the high numbers of Chinese visitors coming to London’s West End for the extended Golden Week.
“Extra stock and staff members are in place, and the London Luxury Quarter, arguably the leading global destination for both luxury, retail and leisure- boasting brands like Chanel and Burberry, has recently launched its own app – including Mandarin speaking versions to further appeal to its Chinese consumers.”
Asia & Pacific,