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Chinese New Year growth in UK expected to slow

By Huw Hughes


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Chinese New Year is no longer the biggest spend period for Chinese shoppers, according to new research.

Over the next 90 days, Chinese shoppers are expected to spend 15 percent less compared to the previous period which included Golden Week and Christmas, according to Global Blue.

During Golden Week in October, Chinese shoppers comprised 30 percent of tax-free spend - an increase of 3 percent from the previous year - and spent an average of 1,092 pounds per transaction. Over the Christmas period, mainland China accounted for 21 percent of tax-free spend - again up 3 percent - with an average transaction value of 1,014 pounds.

Global Blue said it is anticipating a brief surge in shoppers over the Chinese New Year period running from the end of January until mid-February, with data from global tourism and travel experts Forward Keys indicating that hotel and flight bookings are up 18 percent in comparison to 2019.

But Global Blue expects that the Chinese New Year period growth will be to a less significant margin in comparison to 2019, a year which saw a strong 13.44 percent growth in in-store sales in the UK, and a 21.7 percent growth in transaction volume compared to the prior-year period. Global Blue said this is due to “the conservative consumer behaviour being exhibited by Chinese shoppers from Hong Kong whose growth was down -1 percent in December 2019 for the first time in 11 months.”

In 2019, shoppers from China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan made 41,809 transactions, with an average spend of 1,104 pounds.

Global Blue expects that luxury fashion and leather goods will be the most popular purchases over this Chinese New Year period. Southeast Asian shoppers are expected to spend most on watches and jewellery.

Photo courtesy of Burberry

Chinese New Year
Global Blue
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