Shopping Tourism: Billion Dollar Travel Trend

Even the thrifty sorts transform into shopaholics while on vacation. So it is a tad surprising that the leisure travel industry took this long to recognize the travel trend that is “shopping tourism”. Some people not only live to shop, they also travel to shop. So, it is understandable that shopping tourism plays a major role in people’s travel plans. A retail company called Chic Outlet Shopping is one of the early players in the world of luxury shopping tourism. The Europe-based firm, which comes under the umbrella of Value Retail, has zeroed in on the profitable arena of travel retail. From all angles, it appears that Chic Outlet Shopping’s fortunes are on an upswing.

The company noted a 20 percent growth in 2011, with sales of $2.18 billion. Visitors have been spending 7 percent more, and with 29 million tourists dropping by for a shopping trip, Chic Outlet Shopping is sitting on the proverbial goose that lays golden eggs. Meanwhile, shopping tourism is being recognized as one of the emerging trends in billionaire luxury vacation plans.

How does Chic Outlet Shopping Work?

The luxury shopping brand operates through nine shopping villages spread across Europe. The present shopping villages are located on the outskirts of London, Dublin, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Brussels, Frankfurt and Munich.  Chic Outlet Shopping will soon be establishing a tenth shopping village in Shanghai, China. Each shopping village is a glorified brand factory. Tourists are treated to a wide array of luxury brands, from up and coming designers to established names like Christian Dior, Jimmy Choo and Prada. And since even the luxury traveler loves a good bargain, there are big discounts of up to 60 percent on offer.

The success of Chic Outlet Shopping largely hinges on travelers’ tendency to set aside some time for shopping during their vacations. As long as the travel industry continues to grow, shopping tourism is here to stay.

The Shopping Villages

What makes Chic Outlet Shopping’s shopping villages so attractive is that they add to the travel vibe. These villages are unlike international-style malls, most of which look alike. Instead, these shopping villages stay true to the region’s culture. For instance, the Kildare Village in Ireland is a hop, a skip and a jump away from some of the country’s most historic ruins.

The shopping villages necessarily provide a generous dash of local flavor. Head to Bicester Village near London to find pop-up stores stocking designers like Emma Cook and Holly Fulton. Also on offer are established Brit designers like Alexander McQueen and Burberry. The above-mentioned Kildare Village in Ireland has recently been hosting an exhibit of Irish photographer John Minihan. A walk around each village will help you appreciate the boundless local creativity on offer.

Shopping On Your Itinerary

The USP of putting Chic Outlet Shopping on your vacation itinerary is that Value Retail will then assist you with planning the rest of your holiday. On offer are sample itineraries that suggest luxury hotels to suit your interest areas. If wine vacations or historic tourism are on your hotlist, Value Retail’s recommendations could make traveling around that much simpler. Get to know about the best fine dining options in the area, enjoy the services of a personal shopper and valet parking. What more could a luxury traveler-shopper ask for? Shopping tourism is here to stay!

Via: Forbes

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