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New West End Company calls on retailers to campaign against complex UK visas

Retailers in London are launching a campaign to simplify the visa process for Chinese nationals.

Jace Tyrrell, director of communications at New West End Company,  which represents retailers in London’s West End, said it was in talks with retailers including Selfridges about launching a campaign to get the Chinese visa system amended. Tyrrell said difficulties in acquiring a UK visa were deterring high-spending Chinese residents from visiting the country.

A report published this week by tax-free shopping operator Global Blue said Chinese consumers were expected to triple their annual spend on fashion to £124.5bn by 2020. According to Global Blue, more Chinese are visiting the UK and the Olympics and Golden Jubilee next year will drive this further.

Chinese retailers are also moving into London. Clothing giant Bosideng International has bought a six-storey property for £20m in Covent Garden. A store will open next July.

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