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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Chinese grab luxury goods

By Cecily Liu, Zhang Haizhou and yu ran  (China Daily)

11:12, December 24, 2011

LONDON / SHANGHAI - Chinese shoppers are spending more on luxury products abroad this Christmas, despite the current world economic downturn.

And they are buying more tax-free goods than shoppers from any other country, China Daily learned from Global Blue, the largest tax-refund and shopping services provider in the world.

In the financial year ending in November, Chinese shoppers spent $2.15 trillion on tax-free products, a 56 percent increase from the same period a year before, according to Global Blue.

"This is a dramatic increase, driven by China's growing prosperity and its appreciating currency," said Manelik Sfez, vice-president of global marketing at the Switzerland-based company.

Global Blue said Chinese shoppers took part in 21 percent of the tax-free sales made so far in the world this year. In that regard, that put them ahead of Russian shoppers, who accounted for 15 percent of such sales, and of Japanese, US, and Indonesian shoppers, who each accounted for 4 percent.

Meanwhile, the value of November retail sales in Britain increased only by 0.7 percent above what it had been in the same month a year ago. In November 2010, the comparable increase was 2.8 percent and it was 4.1 percent in November 2009, according to statistics from the British Retail Consortium.

Stephen Robertson, director-general of the British Retail Consortium, said the pessimistic figures are "worrying", especially with "Christmas being so near".

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