UK high street retailers received an early autumn boost in sales thanks to an influx of Chinese tourists during the annual Golden Week public holiday (1st – 8th October), the latest data from Worldpay can reveal.
According to the payments processor, visitors from China spent £29 million* on cards during the week, with £11 million* spent in London alone. Department stores benefited the most from high spending Chinese visitors, with in-store sales increasing by almost a third (31%)* compared to the seasonal average.
And while spending was largely concentrated in the boutiques and high end stores around London’s West End, pubs, restaurants and bars also saw takings from Chinese tourists surge by 23%* as visiting shoppers headed out for the evening after a long day’s bargain hunting.
James Frost, UK CMO, Worldpay, said: “Britain’s status as a world-class destination for shopping has captured the attention of Chinese tourists who are flocking to the UK. According to one recent study, flight bookings from China to the U.K. are up 10 per cent year-on-year for the September to November period of 2017**.”
October’s surge in Chinese shoppers follows a bumper summer for foreign spending on UK high streets. Spending by Middle Eastern tourists around the Eid festival in June was up 25%*** year on year while the total amount splashed out on foreign cards topped £643 million**** for the month.
Frost continued: “From Shanghai to San Francisco, sterling’s current weakness against other global currencies is fuelling a boom in foreign card spending at the UK’s premiere shopping destinations. With Christmas just around the corner, attracting global shoppers should figure heavily in retailers’ plans as they look to make the most of the festive shopping period.”
About the data
*Analysis of Chinese card transactions processed by Worldpay during Golden Week (1st-8th Oct) compared to an average week (Week 1: 3rd-10th Sep 2017, Week 2: 17th-24th Sep 2017)
*** Analysis of Middle Eastern card transactions processed by Worldpay during Eid week (24th – 30th June 2017) compared to an average week (10th – 16th June 2017)
****Analysis of non-UK card transactions processed by Worldpay in June 2017
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