John Lewis is launching a new department in its Oxford Street store to lure international shoppers.

A dedicated area has now been set up in its Oxford Street store selling quintessentially British product, backed by an advertising campaign, following record visits from international customers.

Visits to its store from international customers have soared 28% since 2008. The most notable increase has been amongst Chinese shoppers with numbers to its London flagship up 73% year-on-year.

Average spend per head for Chinese shoppers at John Lewis has grown 10% year-on-year. There has also been a huge rise in visits from Egypt and Kuwait, many taking advantage of the weaker British pound.

Richard Boden, Export Manager at John Lewis Oxford Street, says, “We’re expecting continued growth in the Middle Eastern markets, but early 2010 has revealed strength in other emerging markets, such as Brazil. The most popular product areas amongst international shoppers are technology, skincare, branded fashion and fashion accessories.”

Managing director at John Lewis Oxford Street Noel Saunders said: “Following our strong growth in international shopping during 2008 and 2009, we’ve created an advertising campaign to further strengthen our position in the tourist market. Our designated tourism shop, which opens this week, will showcase a superb new range of British-themed products including a Union Jack shopping bag, Best of British trivia box and English Breakfast tea in a ‘Signature British’ tin.”