LONDON — A number of London retailers are ramping up initiatives to appeal to Chinese shoppers looking to make purchases for the Chinese New Year holiday, which begins Feb. 19.


Tax-free shopping specialist Global Blue said that the holiday drove a 23 percent year-on-year increase in spending by Chinese customers in the U.K. in February 2014 to an average of 739 pounds, or $1,137, per transaction.


Global Blue pointed out that this year, London is drawing even more global attention and international visitors as London Fashion Week falls at the same time as Chinese New Year, from Feb. 20 through Feb. 24.


Among the retailers marking the holiday are Selfridges, which will carry Chinese New Year gift cards presented in red envelopes, along with offering personalized cards designed by an in-house calligrapher, complimentary with a purchase in its Wonder Room.


Burberry in Selfridges will also personalize packaging with Chinese calligraphy, complimentary with a purchase.


Department store Fortnum & Mason will offer customers who pay with the Chinese Union Pay card a complimentary tin of tea, along with selling Chinese New Year gold coins and creating a cocktail to mark the holiday called the Firecracker.


And jeweler Theo Fennell will introduce an 18-carat white gold and diamond ram charm to the house’s Art collection to mark the year of the sheep.


“As London Fashion Week and Chinese New Year coincide for the first time, the opportunity for U.K. retailers has doubled this year and they need to make sure they are ready to maximize the potential,” said Gordon Clark, U.K. country manager at Global Blue.


“Tax free services, Union Pay terminals, translated marketing materials and cultural training for staff are all valuable services to entice global shoppers and increase spend in store,” he added.

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