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Asian shoppers throng European retailers

Chinese and many Asia-Pacific consumers proved key to higher-end spending in Europe’s major retail destinations in the fourth quarter of 2018.

While Chinese consumers are spending more within China, they remain key for international sales and are helping to fuel strong sales for luxury fashion brands in cities such as London, Paris and Milan. Consumers got more for their money due to the continuous strengthening of currencies across the APAC region. Vietnam rose to second highest on the list of international retail spenders per transaction, after Hong Kong in first place. Vietnam’s upper-middle class is spending 87 per cent more on international travel annually compared with the regular middle class.

The international appeal of Europe’s market has started to make a slow but positive recovery in the last quarter as underlying currency strength across emerging Asia-Pacific markets has boosted sales. The bounce-back of APAC currencies compared with the previous quarter, combined with the ever-growing population share and income of the region’s middle class, has resulted in increased travel and retail activity among its consumers. International shoppers are increasingly becoming a key source of value to the European retail market, with these consumers spending an average of 3.7 times that of domestic shoppers.