Chinese Tourists Throw New Year Lifeline to Asian Malls

      February 25, 2015 12:24

      Chinese tourists emerged as the biggest group of customers for major department stores in Korea, Japan and Singapore during the Lunar New Year.

      The main branch of Lotte Department Store in Seoul saw one 27-year-old Chinese woman spending W330 million (US$1=W1,112) in just one day on Sunday. She bought clothes, jewelry, cosmetics, and a Cartier watch worth W50 million.

      One 30-year-old Chinese bride-to-be from Shandong Province said, "I tend to buy expensive things in Seoul because I don't have to pay tax in Korea, can get a big discount, and it's certain that the products I get from here are genuine. It's more expensive in China because of the luxury tax."

      Mitsukoshi Department Store in Ginza, Tokyo, said duty free sales during the Lunar New Year this year were three times higher than a year ago, thanks to a huge influx of Chinese tourists.

      Korean department stores estimate that around 200 Chinese tourists spent over W10 million per person on shopping in Korea this holiday season.

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