Luxury retailers in America are adapting their stores and sharing hospitality with visiting Chinese tourists. Chinese visitors spend more cash in the US than those from any other country, an average of $2,000 more each visitor!
The reason so much money is being dropped on foreign shores is because taxes in China have driven up prices of luxury goods.
US retailers have now begun to take notice of this lucrative market and they are willing to pull out all the stops, putting on a show for visitors.
Montblanc is one store keen to cater to guests from the People’s Republic. They sell Year of the Dragon pens and have staff members who speak Mandarin and Cantonese. In January, at their store in New York they treated Chinese guests to a recital by the pianist Lang Lang and they are printing Chinese-language brochures about their products as well as selling wallets sized for Chinese currency.
Some luxury brands have been known to put on intimate fashion shows for wealthy tourists, hold special tours and private openings to accommodate big spenders.
In return tourists will find that goods in America are often a third cheaper than the same ones found back home and the range of products is also broader.
However, The US is still lagging behind.
Strict visor regulations have dampened efforts to tempt flush Chinese visitors to make the trip and many still equate luxury to European long-established brands. They see: ‘‘prestige, history, heritage” in contrast to Americas contemporary feel.
European stores have been experts at catering for foreign visitors for years.
Harrods have as installed 75 tills for Chinese shoppers and the UnionPay card, which is China’s only domestic debit and credit card as well as unveiling commemorative investment gold bars, each incorporating an Oriental Dragon.
Half of Burberrys sales in London come from Chinese tourists, so you can understand why some stores will go out of their way to cater to Chinese spenders every whim.
Over the next decade it is going to be even more important than ever to understand Chinese consumers, knowing their likes and dislikes are going to be crucial in achieving success.
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