With Chinese national holiday Golden Week beginning on Wednesday (1 October 2014) London’s premium retailers are set for an influx of big spending visitors looking to take advantage of the city’s unrivalled designer stores and tax free shopping.
Figures from Worldpay, Great Britain’s leading payment processing company reveal that during Golden Week last year spending at London’s luxury retailers by Chinese visitors soared 20.%, compared with the previous week, and a record 70,000 transactions were made using Chinese cards. The weekend of Golden Week is the peak shopping time for Chinese visitors and also when they feel the most extravagant, with the average transaction value increasing by over 38% compared to the previous weekend.
Dave Hobday, Managing Director of Worldpay UK, said: “The Chinese love affair with luxury brands is well documented, and with London offering the world’s best shopping experience it’s no surprise that Chinese tourists have fallen in love with the city. With a mix of premium stores, upmarket hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants catering to the needs of Chinese visitors, the capital is in a perfect position to take advantage of the Great Wallet of China, and the boost that Golden Week brings.
“Retailers are increasingly savvy and are doing all they can to get a share of these high-rolling tourists. High-end stores now have bilingual staff speaking Mandarin and offer dynamic currency conversion so Chinese visitors can easily do their shopping in Yuan. All of this, combined with tax-free shopping for Chinese tourists, makes London the go-to destination during Golden Week. Retailers would be mad to miss out.”
Golden Week was originally instituted in 1999 to celebrate the founding of the People’s Republic of China but in recent years it has become an opportunity for wealthy Chinese tourists to travel away from the country to visit the world’s most luxurious shopping destinations. In 2010 100,000 Chinese visitors came to the UK but this has grown hugely in recent years with nearly 200,000 visiting last year.
Worldpay is a member of the UK China Visa Alliance, a campaign to overhaul the visa system to make it easier and more rewarding for Chinese tourists and business people to come to the UK.