Last year, nearly 900,000 Chinese tourists visited Paris, during the tour, they spend at least two hours in shopping.
It’s difficult to make their way out of the subway station Havre-Caumartin. The sidewalk pours its flood of tourists clad in bags with the logos of major brands. This is Boulevard Haussmann in the sales period, the race to luxury. “The Chinese account for 50% of foreign visitors, and weighs 30% of total turnover,” explains Pierre Pelarrey, director of Printemps Haussmann.
The Chinese travel mostly in groups. Stay for eight or ten days, between Italy, Switzerland and France. In Paris after the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, department stores are a must. Lovers of luxury are referred by the guides of tour operators. Mandarin-speaking flight attendants locate and advise clients in the utmost discretion. Beauty on one side, accessories and luxury on the other. The average basket “amounts to € 1 500 and the top 5 products are leather goods, luxury watches, jewelry, perfumes and ready-to-wear,” says an assistant.
Payment problem? Currency exchange transactions now gets easier. As tourists resident outside the EU, these customers receive a tax refund of 12%. A service of the store takes care of the formalities to avoid waiting times at the airport. Purchases can also be delivered to the other side of the world.
The number of Chinese tourists is expected to explode in the next five years, reaching 4 to 5 million. Department stores are preparing.