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London retailers prepare for spend surge as LFW and Chinese New Year fall on same week

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today Feb 17, 2015
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The spend surge normally associated with London Fashion Week is expected to be bigger than ever this season, as LFW (February 20-24) coincides with the Chinese New Year (February 19-24) this year.

Retail tourism experts Global Blue says China is the UK's top international spending market, representing 25% of total tax free spending. And the Chinese New Year is the most popular travel period, with Chinese shoppers spending an average £739 per transaction in the UK every February.

Mary Katrantzou (Source : Pixel Formula)


Having fashion week in the same period is set to boost the spending even further, as it will draw shoppers from not just China but around the globe.

Gordon Clark, UK Country Manager at Global Blue says: "February is consistently one of the top months for spending, led primarily by Chinese shoppers over their New Year holiday, with February 2014 seeing Chinese spending grow 23% YOY. As London Fashion Week and Chinese New Year coincide for the first time, the opportunity for UK retailers has doubled this year and they need to make sure they are ready to maximise the potential. Tax Free services, UnionPay terminals, translated marketing materials and cultural training for staff, are all valuable services to entice globe-shoppers and increase in-store spending."

London retailers are rolling out special products and promotions to capitalise on the Chinese New Year, with Selfridges launching exclusive Chinese New Year gift cards and Theo Fennel selling a diamond-encrusted ram charm in 18-carat white gold, as it is the Year of the Sheep.

Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council, says: "London Fashion Week is an international event that attracts over 5,000 trade guests including press, buyers, photographers and broadcasters from over 55 countries. Its consumer event Vodafone London Fashion Weekend provides access to consumers wanting a Fashion Week experience and is part of a city-wide celebration that attracts consumers not just from all over the UK, but from all four corners of the globe who are keen to join the action and take home something special from the world’s creative capital."
 

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