How 5 Department Stores Struck Gold Courting Chinese Tourists

China’s National Day holiday, better known as Golden Week, came to an end yesterday (October 7). In recent years, an increasing number of Chinese, in particular, those wealthy ones in the middle- to upper-class, have chosen to spend this week-long holiday abroad. There is no denying luxury shopping still makes up a significant part of these people’s overseas journeys.

In late September, China’s tourism giant Ctrip estimated there would be a record high 7 million outbound tourists traveling to a wide range of international destinations during this year’s Golden Week.

While we are still waiting for official government statistics, Jing Daily highlighted five high-end shopping malls in major international cities whose attempts to cash in on Chinese travelers’ Golden Week excursions caught our eye. From exclusive offers and discounts to special services, these five players succeeded in capturing the attention of Chinese outbound travelers on key social media channels before their departure.

To celebrate this year’s Golden Week, Harrods unveiled a special Advent calendar, valued at $327 dollars (£250), which contains 25 beauty items that are handpicked by the store’s buyer team for Chinese consumers. Courtesy photo

To celebrate this year’s Golden Week, Harrods unveiled a special Advent calendar, valued at $327 dollars (£250), which contains 25 beauty items that are handpicked by the store’s buyer team for Chinese consumers. Courtesy photo

1. Harrods (London, United Kingdom)

Of late, London’s heritage department store Harrods has set its eye on affluent Chinese consumers, whose purchasing power has surpassed British nationals within the department store.

To celebrate this year’s Golden Week, Harrods unveiled a special Advent calendar, valued at $327 dollars (£250), which contains 25 beauty items (such as Suqqu color brush, Nars velvet lip glide and Sunday Riley tidal brightening enzyme water cream) that are handpicked by the store’s buyer team for Chinese consumers. There are only 2,500 calendars available.

To further attract Chinese tourists to the store, Harrods published a WeChat article on September 30 about things to do at the store aside from shopping. It offers salons, art galleries, concierge clubs, and fine dining services with a special focus on Chinese nationals during the holiday.

As the largest duty-free retailer in Thailand, King Power International Group rolled out an extensive marketing plan ahead of the holiday to market toward value-conscious Chinese travelers. Photo: Shutterstock

As the largest duty-free retailer in Thailand, King Power International Group rolled out an extensive marketing plan ahead of the holiday to market toward value-conscious Chinese travelers. Photo: Shutterstock

2. King Power Duty-Free Department Store (Bangkok, Thailand)

Ctrip ranked Thailand the most popular overseas destination for Chinese tourists during Golden Week 2018. As the largest duty-free retailer in Thailand, King Power International Group unsurprisingly rolled out an extensive marketing plan ahead of the holiday to market toward value-conscious Chinese travelers.

Starting from September 28, King Power published dozens of posts on China’s top two social media platforms, Weibo and WeChat, to inform consumers of their special offerings during the holiday. For instance, it gave out coupons and discounts through its WeChat mini-program, encouraging consumers to place orders on the app and pick up their items at airports. Some of the Chinese consumers’ favorite products were listed on King Power’s official Chinese website, and it offered bundled deals if consumers purchased more than three items. On Weibo, the retailer also reminded consumers of its partnership with key Chinese banks, including China Merchants Bank, that provide cash back.

Many Japanese retailers see the Golden Week window as a golden opportunity to cash in on affluent Chinese consumers. The premium department store Matsuya Ginza in Tokyo is a prime example. Photo by Ayumi Kakamu/Getty Images

Many Japanese retailers see the Golden Week window as a golden opportunity to cash in on affluent Chinese consumers. The premium department store Matsuya Ginza in Tokyo is a prime example. Photo by Ayumi Kakamu/Getty Images

3. Matsuya Ginza (Tokyo, Japan)

As Chinese tourists’ interest in visiting Japan continues to surge, many Japanese retailers see the Golden Week window as a golden opportunity to cash in on this segment. The premium department store Matsuya Ginza in Tokyo is a prime example.

On September 28, the store published a post on WeChat that listed all the international luxury fashion brands, from Balenciaga and Celine to Jimmy Choo and Prada, that would participate in the sales event during the Golden Week holiday. The post said the event would last from September 22 to October 7. The first 200 customers would also receive a special gift.

4. Galeries Lafayette Haussmann (Paris, France)

The iconic Parisian department store Galeries Lafayette Haussmann’s Golden Week celebration focused on sales events. On September 28, it promoted a post on WeChat that listed brands, from Rolex and Longines to Tory Burch and Kate Spade New York, that offered discounts to Chinese consumers. Galeries Lafayette also published a post to teach users how to claim tax refunds and collect credits when shopping in the store.

Moscow's TSUM Department Store initiated another round of marketing efforts toward consumers in China ahead of the Golden Week period. Photo: Shutterstock

Moscow’s TSUM Department Store initiated another round of marketing efforts toward consumers in China ahead of the Golden Week period. Photo: Shutterstock

5. Central Universal Department Store (Moscow, Russia)

Riding on Chinese tourists’ interest in Moscow as a result of the past World Cup, the city’s Central Universal Department Store, better known as TSUM Department Store, initiated another round of marketing efforts toward consumers in China ahead of the Golden Week period.

On October 3, the department store announced on WeChat that any Chinese nationals who shopped at the store during the holiday would receive a 10 percent discount and enjoy up to 11 percent in tax refunds. TSUM  also prepared many Russian nesting dolls as gifts for consumers who spent over $3,004 (RUB 200,000).

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Retail, Social Media, Travel