Department stores and designer outlets set to cash in on Chinese New Year getaway

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Payments processor Worldpay claims prime shopping destinations in London and the South East could see spending by visiting Chinese shoppers surge by a third during the coming Lunar New Year Golden Week holidays which begin on 8 February.

Worldpay’s analysis of recent spending patterns by Far Eastern tourists suggests department stores across London can expect a 30% increase in Chinese card transactions compared with average weekly transactions for the time of year.

Shopping malls could see an even bigger boost, with Westfield shopping centre likely to see Chinese shopper spending rise 46%.

And it’s not just London that’s set to benefit from Golden Week spending. Bicester Village, reputed to be the most popular destination for Chinese visitors to the UK, can reasonably expect to double the number of Chinese card transactions it processes during the week.

Dave Hobday, UK managing director, Worldpay, said: “The economic situation in China may be a little more complex than it was eighteen months ago, but the spending potential of China’s huge and growing middle class remains virtually untapped.

“Retailers looking to capitalise on the spending power of international visitors need to recognise that the customer journey often starts long before they set foot off the plane. We know that shoppers in the Far East tend to research and plan their purchases online before buying in-store. Forward-looking retailers are investing in technology to align their back-office systems and link their sales channels, helping them deliver a highly personalised, seamless experience when the customer crosses the threshold of their store.”