We have all seen these cheezy advertising campaigns made by department stores or western brands trying to attract Chinese tourists in the last years: Be assured that affluent Chinese tourists were also smiling… But it is going to change. Exit the low quality shopping publications targeted to Chinese tourists that ended in the hotel rooms trash bins. U.S. and European Luxury brands and high end retailers start now to advertise seriously with affluent Chinese tourists.
Although luxury sales in mainland China have still remained in slowdown mode in 2015, and Hong Kong has recorded a significant slump as well, Chinese spending remains a potent force in the global luxury industry, propping up growth rates in developed markets worldwide.
This week, Hermès reported a 22 percent increase in global sales in the second quarter, with sales in Japan leaping 33 percent—a figure attributed in large part to an influx of big-spending Chinese tourists attracted by a weaker yen and easier travel. On a global scale, Chinese travelers are spending lavishly: a recent Global Blue report found that Chinese tourist spending jumped 87.8 percent in June, while spending on leather goods in Europe grew by an even more staggering 93.7 percent. Year-to-date spending growth sits at a whopping 110 percent.
These numbers contrast sharply with the situation in mainland China and Hong Kong, one that is particularly striking in formerly triumphant Hong Kong. Last week, Burberry reported a “double-digit percentage decline” there for the three months ending in June, while sales of Swiss watches in the former British colony were down 21.2 percent in June, despite 3.3 percent growth worldwide.
These numbers further support the trend that growth is following Chinese tourists abroad, and brands need to keep up with their changing location preferences for travel—engaging outbound shoppers before they leave China and when they arrive overseas. Recent stats also illustrate the ever-shifting tides of Chinese travel patterns. Whereas Japan was, just a few years ago, faced with a Chinese tourist slump (caused in no small part by Sino-Japanese political tensions), the country is seeing a wave of Chinese arrivals and spending, owing to cooling attitudes toward Hong Kong and South Korea’s currency fluctuations and MERS outbreak.
Amid these rapid and unpredictable changes, what is clear is that brands need to have plans in place to quickly jump on opportunities, and ensure they’re able to reach and influence the Chinese outbound consumer wherever he or she happens to be in the world.
“Luxury retailers like Bloomingdale’s have well understood the importance of targeting affluent Chinese tourists”, said Pierre Gervois, CEO of China Elite Focus and Publisher of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine, a high end publication in Chinese language for High Net Worth Chinese global travelers. “Bloomindale’s and the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine have launched a very creative marketing and PR campaign this spring showing actual Chinese customers and what it feels like to shop at the iconic Bloomingdale’s store in NYC.” Gervois added. This campaign has generated a considerable attention on Chinese social media and is the first ever campaign focused on the Chinese customer and the overall shopping experience in a U.S. luxury retailer. An example to follow for the industry.
Source: Jing Daily / Chinese Tourists Blog / Chinese tourists in America
Luxury stores are preparing for thousands of wealthy Far Eastern shoppers to coincide with the start of the Chinese Year of the Dragon.
The easing of travel restrictions in China means the turn of the year has become a time for international travel and shopping for the country’s elite.
They will be looking for British brands such as Burberry and Mulberry, and international brands such as Prada and Gucci.
Spending by Chinese tourists in UK stores rose by 64 per cent last year, say retail analysts Global Blue, and totalled £165million.
Bond Street shops have hired Mandarin-speaking staff while Harrods has installed 75 tills for Chinese shoppers and the UnionPay card, which is China’s only domestic debit and credit card.
And yesterday, the store unveiled commemorative investment gold bars, each incorporating an Oriental Dragon, in a bid to appeal to the tourists.
Richard Brown of Global Blue said: ‘Chinese New Year reflects an important cultural shift in China with families now travelling abroad as an alternative to celebrations at home.’
‘Retailers are bracing themselves for a significant uplift in Chinese shoppers and hope to repeat staggering growth.
‘Luxury brands are set to benefit the most from this uplift, with Chinese shoppers spending on average £729 per tax free transaction favouring handbags, jewellery and watches.’
Mark Di-Toro, from VisitBritain, said: ‘The first half of 2011 witnessed a record high in outbound tourism from China. The UK is already benefitting from these high spending visitors who are coming to Britain to shop in their droves.
‘In the West End, Chinese shoppers are reported to spend an average £1,310 during a trip with half of Burberry’s sales in London coming courtesy of Chinese tourists.’
Burberry benefits from the fact that the Duchess of Cambridge has been seen wearing a number of the brand’s trademark coats.
Gordon Innes, chief executive of London & Partners, the capital’s official promotional organisation, said: ‘With its large population, strong economic growth and growing social mobility, China is viewed as a lucrative tourism prospect.
‘In the year ending September 2011 visitor arrivals increased by about 40per cent with the average stay length among Chinese visitors twice the average of all overseas tourist – making them prodigious spenders.’
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
Oxford Street is anticipating a shopping spree from Asia today as Chinese tourists celebrate the lunar new year by snapping up luxury brands. Although the Chinese new year is traditionally a time for families to gather at home, a burgeoning middle class has the money and inclination to travel. Increasingly, the wealthy are using the holiday to get away, and Chinese tourist numbers are set to double by 2014. In London Chinese tourists make a beeline for the high-end shops. Wang Yanming, a Beijing publisher, is typical of the affluent visitors arriving in the UK. “I have always wanted to go to the UK. It is a beautiful country with a long history,” said the 32-year-old. “I did a lot of shopping, because it was so much cheaper. In outlets and factory shops, the prices for brands like Burberry, Mulberry, Vivienne Westwood and Ben Sherman were incredibly low. For some of them the price was not even half of that in China.” In all, she spent about 20,000 yuan (£2,816) on bags, clothing, shoes, souvenirs and chocolates – and another 15,000 yuan on designer handbags that three colleagues asked her to buy for them. The pound has lost about a third of its value against the renminbi in the past three years, adding to Britain’s attractiveness as a holiday destination. “Stores such as Burberry and Selfridges now have Chinese speaking staff assistants to cater to the huge number of Chinese customers,” said Jonathan De Mello, a retail analyst at the CB Richard Ellis consultancy. “Chinese workers take their holidays at the same time. They come here on tour groups, everything is done for them. They are taken to shops in the West End where they feel obliged to buy something. It’s very lucrative for both sides. They are the new Japanese.” De Mello said shoppers from mainland China and Hong Kong account for about 30% of the luxury goods market in Britain, followed by Russians, Arabs and Japanese, with British shoppers making up only about 15% of the purchases. One reason why luxury goods in the UK are popular with Chinese shoppers is price. Prices of luxury goods can be up to 30% higher in China because of import high tariffs and taxes. Well-known brands and local products such as Burberry, Clarks shoes and Scottish whisky are favoured particularly as they are less likely to be fake here. According to figures from the New West End Company, which represents retailers in Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, the Chinese were the highest-spending nationality last year, parting with £3m on fashion, cosmetics and confectionery. Britain is expecting a growing influx of Chinese tourists in the next few years. VisitBritain says trips to the UK are forecast to more than double by 2014, growing by 117% relative to 2008, with almost 130,000 additional visits (representing a 0.8% market share for the UK). This would make the UK the 14th most visited destination from China in 2014. It is easy to overstate the importance of tourists from China: in 2009 only 89,000 mainland visitors arrived in the UK, compared with 2.9 million US tourists. But Chinese numbers are climbing, while US arrivals are in decline. And the Chinese spent an average of £1,310, while their US counterparts spent £753. Luxury brands have done particularly well. Harrods recently reported that half of the crowds at the first day of its Christmas sale were Chinese. Travel companies say the UK should be well-placed to benefit further from China’s growing prosperity. “Top attractions include its unique scenery and culture, shopping, football, visiting children who are studying in the UK – and Harry Potter,” said a spokesperson for Titicaca, a Chinese travel company specialising in trips to the UK. Yet some Chinese are deterred from coming to Britain because a separate visa is required. Architect Yu Xiaoliang, 37 from Hangzhou is preparing to visit Amsterdam for work and will take the opportunity to visit other European countries. “I didn’t think about going to the UK because you need to apply for a separate visa, which is both expensive and troublesome,” he said. Source: Chinese Tourists Blog