Thursday, December 23, 2010
Mandarin Speakers Are Mostly Big Spenders in Hong Kong
The World has changed, when I used the FEC* to buy cigarette in Friendship store in Shanghai in 1982. Local people could not enter the store, unless they are escorted with the Hong Kong, Macao people or overseas Chinese.
How the case has been reversed, when you entered the Louis Vitton stores in Hong Kong some year ago, probably you still can ask the sales woman in Cantonese for the bag you like to see before the purchase. Now if you do so, no one would likely respond you in first priority unless you speak in Mandarin.
Why, because likely Hong Kong people is losing their competitive edge in buying those branded goods in Hong Kong such as Louis Vitton, Chanel, Gucci, Rolex, Cartier, Roger Dubuis, Audemars Piguet, Piaget, Frank Muller, Burberry, Hermes, Prada, Tiffany and Armani.
As from the HKTA data, there are approximately 30 millions visitors in Hong Kong and there are over 70% is from China, they like to purchase these goods, and some of them they don’t negotiate much on the price. During Chinese New Year beginning of the year, one Chinese in causal wear came in to a Watch shop and purchased watches with Value of total $10,000,000 in less than one hour.
The big spenders are Chinese. So next time if you want to see the Birkin Bag in Hermes Shop, please speak in “Mandarin!”
PS* FEC stands for Foreign Exchange Certificate.
The Bank of China on the Mainland was chartered as the main foreign trade and exchange bank. Foreign visitors to China were required to conduct transactions with Foreign Exchange Certificates issued by the Bank of China between 1979 and 1994. These have been abolished, and all transactions now occur in Renminbi.