By Mark Davidson
A growing number of shoppers from south-east Asia headed to the UK last month to take advantage of the favourable exchange rate and January sales, new research has shown.
The study, conducted by tourism shopping expert Global Blue, indicated that there was a huge increase in consumers visiting from Singapore, Thailand and many other south-east Asian countries.
Of all the nations in this region it was China that provided the most tourist shoppers, but it is the growth in shopper numbers from other south-east Asian countries that was particularly noteworthy.
Shopping tourist numbers from Singapore and Thailand grew by 112 per cent and 94 per cent year-on-year respectively, while there were 89 per cent more shoppers arriving from China than the same month in 2010.
Nigel Dasler, Vice President of Global Blue in the UK, commented: “As the Chinese economy booms and drives growth across south-east Asia, UK retailers are becoming savvier when it comes to attracting this highly valuable market.
“Retailers are going out of their way to entice Far Eastern shoppers over to our high streets.
“Iconic high street stores have also introduced initiatives such as Mandarin speaking shop assistants and are now starting to accept Union Pay in a bid to make the shopping experience increasingly more attractive.”
He added: “We expect this market to continue its significant expansion far into 2011.”
While Chinese shoppers are heading to England for their shopping, iconic British fashion label, Burberry has recently opened stores in China to try to cash in on the economic growth in this part of the world.
In September last year, the company revealed that it will be increasing selling space by 25 per cent in the second half of its financial year, 15 per cent of which will be in China.