This week is Golden Week, a national holiday in China which gives some shoppers the chance to take a vacation and pick up wares on their travels. Retail Week takes a look at what retailers need to know.
Why are we talking about it?
UK retailers are expecting a sales uplift this from Chinese tourists this week as many flock to London during their biggest national holiday Golden Week when they are given a week of work from October 1.
Will it really boost sales though?
Yes, according to last year’s evidence. Chinese tourists accounted for 35% of sales in The Village, Westfield London’s luxury quarter during 2012’s Golden Week. The early signs are positive as sales from Chinese shoppers during Chinese New Year jumped 15% year on year.
Chinese shoppers already make a large contribution to the UK retail economy and account for 23% of total international spend from Tax Free according to Gordon Clark, UK country manager at Global Blue.
Who stands to benefit?
Luxury stores in both London and designer outlets such as Bicester Village stand to benefit. There is huge demand for luxury in China and Chinese shoppers make up a third of luxury consumption worldwide. However, high end brands are more expensive there so shoppers flock to Europe to make luxury purchases. The UK can be up to 30% cheaper in the UK.
What are retailers doing to make the most out of Golden Week?
Upmarket retailers in London such as Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges will be making the most of the mandarin speaking staff they employ in-store. At Westfield London, Gucci will be displaying more precious skin handbags, popular with Chinese tourists, and, along with House of Fraser, are stocking more red coloured products, a lucky Chinese colour.