Chinese New Year gives huge boost to London stores
The ongoing importance of Chinese shoppers to central London fashion stores was further illustrated Thursday as the New West End Company said that Chinese New Year had given a major boost to turnover.
NWEC represents retailers in the key Oxford Street, Regent Street and New Bond Street area. It said that in the week before the main Chinese New Year event, sales to Chinese shoppers surged by 121% year-on-year, according to figures sourced from Premier Tax Free.
Only last week tax free shopping specialist Global Blue had said that Chinese shoppers helped drive UK sales higher in December with a 46% year-on-year increase, while shoppers from Taiwan also spent heavily in the city.
Meanwhile NWEC Jace Tyrrell said of the 121% increase on Thursday: “The West End is setting the scene for a prosperous Chinese New Year. To put this into perspective, domestic and European spend in the same period were up by just 10.2% and 12.6% respectively.”
Tyrrell added: “The Spring Festival has long been a key date in the West End calendar. And with last year’s Golden Week proving particularly popular, with average transaction values at £1,049, we are anticipating a similar uplift in sales over the New Year.”
Although the major Chinese holiday was traditionally used for family get-togethers, more and more Chinese citizens are opting to use the break as an opportunity for travel.
The New Year date for 2017 has also benefitted shopping with a calendar effect allowing for a potential 10-day break. Many travelling Chinese consumers have clearly chosen London’s West End as their must-visit destination, lured by attractive prices on the back of the weak pound.
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