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West End retailers set for Chinese New Year windfall

Sales to Chinese customers in the West End over the Chinese New Year period will grow by 14.3% to £32m this year compared with last year’s equivalent, the New West End Company has predicted.

Chief executive Jace Tyrell said it continues to mark a “sharp rise” in spending from Chinese customers during the period, which begins on 15 February on Chinese New Year’s Eve and includes Spring Golden Week, running to 21 February.

Data from tourism shopping tax refund company Global Blue showed that spending from Chinese tourists across Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street rose by 120% between 2016 and 2017 during the Golden Week period.

Chinese visitors to London spend an average of £1,370 per transaction in the West End.

Tyrell said: “There is still more work to be done to make us globally competitive with Paris, which welcomes five times more Chinese visitors than the UK each year.

“With China on track to reach 100 million outbound journeys a year by 2020, the Chinese customer remains crucial to the health of London’s tourism and retail sectors as we prepare for Brexit Britain.”

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