Affluent Chinese tourists have become the biggest spenders on luxury items in Britain. The total spend by the Chinese tourists in Britain is expected to touch a whooping one billion pound this holiday season. Popularly called the ‘Peking Pound’ by the trade, it has accounted for almost a third of post-Christmas purchases of high end goods such as Burberry, Mulberry, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Mandarin speaking shop assistants are in great demand in the West End stores who are doing their best to cash in on the boom.
Selfridges has arranged to accept China Union Pay cards, which are the only cards available in China, to make it convenient for the Chinese shoppers to go for the high end brands. The second purchase done at the store was paid through one of these cards and was worth £1,200. Selfridges has recorded a 40% jump in their sales over last year. The scene in their store was described as ‘The Great Mall of China’.
The sustained growth of the Chinese economy has resulted in large number of Chinese families with substantial disposable incomes that are looking for luxury goods and brands. Because of high taxes levied on imported goods in China the prices are generally 20 to 30% high in China. The holiday season offers and packages make shopping in Britain very attractive and exciting.