While to some of us the Chinese New Year simply means a night in watching the telly with a box of sweet and sour chicken from the local takeaway, to others it’s an extravagant celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which takes place on the 16th February in 2018 and marks the beginning of a new Year of the Dog.

A growing market

Luckily for the UK retail market, it seems that nothing gets both Brits and tourists to open their wallets like the Chinese New Year. Almost 200,000 Chinese people live in the UK, but Chinese New Year celebrations are popular with people from all cultures and backgrounds and have steadily been increasing in scale over the past years. Tourism company Global Blue found that spending during the 2017 Chinese New Year showed a 23.5% increase on 2016, a year which had already shown growth of 8.9% year-on-year since 2015.

Global Blue also published figures showing that visitors from China consistently prove to be the biggest spending nationality in the UK, and China’s strong economic position, as well as the weakened sterling, should both have positive impacts on the spending power of Chinese tourists this New Year. Certainly, if the past year is anything to go by, we should be in for a very lucrative week. Tax-free spending from Chinese tourists grew by 32% year-on-year in 2017.

Strong projections for 2018

Preliminary data is showing that 2018’s Chinese New Year is set to be one of the most profitable yet. Rakuten Marketing has shown a 38% year-on-year increase in advertising orders made for the three-day period that covers the Chinese New Year, while online orders for cameras and photography equipment – a key resource for those wanting to capture the extravagant, vibrant displays associated with Chinese New Year celebrations – rose by 19% year-on-year.

Insights are perhaps indicating that UK retailers would do well to capitalise on the popularity of online shopping during this busy period. PCA Predict has found that almost three in four (73%) of Chinese consumers shop at least partly online in the run-up to Chinese New Year, and predict that over a fifth of Chinese consumers will make at least one international purchase online in 2018.

A great time for UK retailers

Between Pancake Day, Valentine’s Day, and now the Chinese New Year, this February certainly looks set to provide a much-need boost to the health of UK retailers’ purses. Hopefully, this initial demonstration of spending power so soon after Christmas spells good things for the UK economy as we progress through 2018.

chinese_new_year_london_2011_IMG_7766 by jonworldaccent licensed under Creative commons 6