McArthurGlen Designer Outlets have struck it big with Chinese shoppers. The company, which runs 20 centers across Europe, has seen tax-free sales by Chinese shoppers increase 270 percent in the last two years alone. Chinese purchases also account for more than 20 percent of the companies total sales.
Chinese visitors to McArthurGlen outlets spend eight times more than the average shopper, and at their Italian locations—a whopping ten times more, according to Travel Daily News.
McArthurGlen announced that their most popular stores this year included locations in Venice (up 94 percent in sales), Milan (up 55 percent), Vienna (up 30 percent), Rome (up 20 percent), and the Netherlands (up 17 percent ).
Valentine’s Day proved to be a busy time for the outlet centers as sales increased 50 percent in February and thousands of Chinese New Year red envelopes and tote bags were given away. Shoppers also flooded the stores during their Spring Festival Golden Week Holiday.
Aside from the holidays, part of the boost in sales may be due in part to a wave of new MacArthurGlen consumers. While the outlet previously reported that the majority of their shoppers came in from big cities like Shanghai and Beijing, recently, they’ve been welcoming a number of customers from smaller cities. The influx of such shoppers is a result of rising incomes and heightened interest in current fashion trends.
Julia Calabrese,CEO of the McArthurGlen group, said that moving forward, the company will work to further accommodate all of their Asian consumer’s needs. “We see travelers from China and South East Asia as being the markets that will drive the future growth of our tourism business. It’s about providing an authentic shopping experience at bargain prices.”
Growth and variety is something that the group has already begun to see among its consumers. Last year, shoppers from Thailand spent 52 percent more at the McArthurGlen outlets than in 2012, followed by Malaysian shoppers with a 48 percent increase, Indonesian shoppers with a 23 percent increase, and Singapore and South Korea up 22 and 18 percent respectively.
The outlet group says that a survey of consumers found that comprehensive customer service, an assortment of brands, and a comfortable shopping environment were the highest ranking factors in choosing an outlet to shop at. Considering that two-thirds of Chinese retail shoppers visiting Europe also visited McArthurGlen outlets, it seems that the company is on top of its game.
image credit: choo yut shing