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Oxford Street tops poll for high-end shopping by UK Chinese retailers

Oxford Street is the top destination this year for luxury shopping by UK Chinese retailers, according to a survey, which is the first of its kind.

The West-End shopping hub beat a number of exclusive areas including Regent Street and Bond Street as the place to buy high-end goods.

The survey has been carried out by Wei-UK Consulting, a specialist marketing agency which helps luxury brands engage with and understand Chinese retailers.

With the increasing global purchasing power of Chinese retailers, top level surveys have previously examined the Chinese retailer’s wealth levels and spending patterns. However, very few have stratified the data alongside retailers preferences and none have been done specifically on the UK market.

Steven Bywater, a director at Wei-UK, is overseeing the project and says: “Most UK retailers acknowledge the importance of the Chinese retailer, but very few know who they are beyond the fact that they are Chinese and have money to spend.”

“Our aim with the data survey is to not only show brands a deeper level of understanding that is quantifiable, but use the data to help them better engage with and convert sales.”

With Chinese tourists spending a record $164.8bn (£107bn) overseas last year, there is a clear opportunity for British firms. In addition to the resident Chinese expat and foreign student communities, the UK attracts an increasing number of tourists from China who want to buy authentic designer goods, which are nearly double the price back in China due to government import taxation.

The data also suggests the following trends:

  • International travel by a large margin is considered the most popular luxury expense for Chinese retailers over the next 12 months, followed by technology, bags, clothing and beauty products.
  • The Chinese retailers in the UK on average plans to spend 57% of their annual luxury goods expenditure in the UK.

The results are preliminary and the survey will continue to run until 15 June with the full report due in the summer, which will include data on how other shopping destinations rank, favourite department stores, social media preferences, and UK brand recognition levels.

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