Chinese spend in the UK fell 2% in August
The drop of the yuan led to a 2% fall in Chinese spend in the UK in August, which doesn't look good for UK retailers as Chinese Golden Week starts.
Golden Week (October 1-17) is when Chinese tourists traditionally visit the UK to buy new-season items tax-free. China is still the number one spending group in the UK, with overall growth up +8% YOY (Jan-July 2015), but the bad currency rates mean they are reining in their shopping.
Global Blue now expects the Golden Week rush to be significantly weaker this year, and the decline could continue throughout Q4.
Gordon Clark, Head of Commercial , UK and Ireland, Global Blue, comments: “Our figures show a slowdown in the growth of Chinese shoppers in the UK in the first half of the year to only +4% whilst the Eurozone have seen a huge increase of +74%. This has been driven by flat to moderate growth in arrival numbers in the UK of +2%, Europe gaining in attractiveness behind a favourable FX, UK retailers not adjusting their prices to counter this FX change and the ongoing Chinese Visa issues.
With the devaluation of the yuan and falling confidence of Chinese consumers, forecasts for UK spend growth are not looking strong. It is essential we take action to make sure we do not lose out on the opportunity this market brings to the UK economy."
In terms of globe shopper spend growth, the UK is lagging behind the rest of Europe, according to Global Blue. H1 spend figures show total international spend growth was up only +3%, compared to +37% for France and +14% for Italy.
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