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New wealthy Asians seek ‘retail-tainment’

Newly wealthy Asians, particularly the Chinese, are becoming more sophisticated in their spending and lifestyle habits.

Value Retail China president Chris Cabot says they are no longer just interested in brands, instead seeking unique experiences.

Ying Shea, chief development officer, luxury business, SK Group adds: “Initially, people tended to buy things with big brand names and logos as symbol of their wealth and success, but once they pass that stage, they will eventually look for something new, which is a value experience.”

The average spend of a Chinese shopper across the nine Chic Outlet Shopping Villages is €347, the highest of any of its markets. Chinese visitors to the Villages accounted for nearly a third (33 per cent) of tax-free sales in the first three months of 2013, spending €30 million, a 49 per cent increase in year-on-year sales.

“Chinese people with wealth like to be recognised. Besides shopping for pretty things, they want recognition from other people and high-quality service standards. Nowadays, more and more Chinese consumers also hope to be enhanced by the shopping experience, which includes private shopping,” said Kuoni Group VP Alfred Chang.

The other highest markets for tax-free sales at the Villages were Russia (14 per cent), the Middle East (12 per cent) and Southeast Asia (11 per cent). International visitors spent an average of €309 per visit.

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