Overseas shoppers worth £2bn to retailers…

April 19, 2011
The Retail Inspector - Clock-Tower

The Retail Inspector - Clock-Tower

London’s West End retailers will receive a £2bn boost in their takings this year, thanks to tourists.

The GlobeShopper Calendar Survey has reported that shoppers from across the globe will travel to London’s famous West End to hit the high street.

The survey shows that we can expect to see foreign shoppers from China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates in the most part – however, consumers from Kuwait and Nigeria are also expected to enhance sales.

So who’s worth what? Well, Saudi Arabian tourists spend around £1,974 per visit, Kuwaits part with an average of £1,780 per visit and Nigerians burn up almost £1,650 per visit.

The Chinese however, remain a key factor in London’s takings – they alone account for up to 30pc of the capital’s retail turnover.

Richard Dickinson, chief executive of the New West End Company, which represents 600 retailers, said: “Tourism is a key growth sector that can help drive the UK economy into better times.”

On the Chinese market, Richard Dickinson had this to say: “We are encouraged by Global Blue’s predictions that the Chinese market will continue to deliver for the West End in 2011, but Chinese Tour Operators tell us that the current visa arrangements for Chinese shoppers entering Britain do restrict visitor numbers considerably.”

The growth of the Chinese market is moving at an undeniably quick pace and we saw last week how Burberry made plans to take a share of the profits.

The influx of Chinese consumers will no doubt aid our economy, but also gives UK retailers a chance to look at investing in eastern hemisphere trading.

Like Burberry have done, if more UK-based retailers managed to pull off a successful launch that showcases what they are about, then there’s no reason as to why they couldn’t see some healthy returns.

If retailers did see a significant increase in turnover as a result of foreign trading, then they could look to revitalise what they have here. Which, at the moment, is a trading sector in dire need of help.

In other news…

Back to Burberry again this week who have hit the headlines again stating that they are looking to “aggressively reinvest” in London ahead of the 2012 Olympics.

After a successful Beijing launch party last week, Burberry have now said that they haven’t neglected their hometown of London, and plan to use the 2012 Olympics to make the city its “greatest flagship market”.

Angela Ahrendts, chief executive, again made note of the powerful Chinese trade, stating that 30pc of their trade is through Chinese tourists.

With more tourists flooding in for the Olympic games, it only seems right that retailers start re-investing in the capital, hopefully Burberry will lead by example.