Japanese and South Korean retailers are smiling… but these scenes are enough to make a Hong Kong retailer weep: Watch how Chinese shop over Golden Week… in Tokyo, Seoul or Boston… Not in Hong Kong, their traditional destination.
Chinese tourists, famous for leaving shelves bare when they shop abroad, went on a shopping spree in Korea, Japan and the US during last week’s National Holiday of the People’s Republic of China, better known in Asia as Golden Week.
Tour guides say that the average Chinese tourist that visits Japan spends approximately 20,000 to 30,000 Yuan, which is around US$3140 to $4720, on shopping.
Shopping is actually the main reason for travel during Golden Week.
This year, Chinese tourists flocked to duty free stores in Seoul, Busan and Jeju, as shown in the photographs, as well as large discount stores and markets, clearing shelves of stock, according to Koreabizwire and Yonhap news service.
The Korean press reported instances of Chinese tourists buying “hundreds of thousands of won worth of cosmetics” in just two to three hours at duty free stores.
In Japan, Chinese tourists were bought over the counter drugs in bulk: cough medicine, painkillers, glasses, sleep shades and stationary are popular Japanese products among Chinese tourists. Baby products, also.
Earlier this year, during the Chinese New Year Holiday, Japanese electronic rice cookers and bidets were cleaned off the shelves by Chinese tourists.
In the US there were similar stories, Koreabizwire reported.
According to a local tour operator in Boston, Chinese tourists stopped by a Gucci Outlet to buy bags, and most of them bought three or four bags at once, with some purchasing as many as seven at once.
“They were shopping as if they were just grabbing free stuff,” said a local guide.
Original reporting by Francine Jung. Images: Yonhap News Agency.