London’s Luxury Quarter is again expecting a boom in Chinese visitors this autumn searching for the world’s most luxurious brand and experiences during the October Golden Week Chinese Holiday. According to tourism experts Global Blue, Chinese shoppers are now the number one tax-free spenders in the London Luxury Quarter, a collection of 42 world famous streets and lanes in the heart ofLondon’s prestigious West End aroundMayfair, Piccadilly and St. James’s.
Mark Henderson, Chairman of London Luxury Quarter and Savile Row tailors Gieves & Hawkes, says: “Chinese shoppers make up the most significant proportion of our international customer base. The first Golden Week holiday in February this year saw a surge in Chinese visitors to the area and we are expecting record numbers for the second holiday this October. The Quarter offers a unique mix of world leading luxury brands, hotels, galleries and restaurants, catering for visitors’ taste for high end goods and unique experiences, and we are doing more than ever to ensure they are fully accommodated.”
Chinese shoppers are leading the way in the London Luxury Quarter with tax-free spending on Bond Street by Chinese nationals alone rising by almost a fifth in 2012 according to Global Blue. Bond Street, at the heart of the Quarter, continues to be popular with Chinese tourists who are familiar with the line-up of international and British luxury brands. Spending up to £2,000 on average per transaction, purchases made by high-net-worth Chinese tourists on Bond Street are significantly higher than the London average of £500 per transaction.
Last year, the famed Savile Row, home to tailors Gieves & Hawkes, was ‘discovered’ by Chinese shoppers in 2012 with spend up 236% year-on-year owing to their evolving tastes for bespoke goods, craftsmanship and an appetite for British heritage. In the London Luxury Quarter specifically, Chinese the largest international consumer group in both the West End and on Bond Street, accounting for 16% and 28% of all sales respectively.
Within the London Luxury Quarter, many of the hotels and retailers now accept Union Pay as a payment method, while many of the shops provide full Global Blue tax-free shopping services and support. Inside an increasing number of stores, Mandarin speaking staff are in place to ensure Chinese shoppers receive convenient and superior customer service.
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