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Luxury Shoppers, one



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Louis Vuitton…Chanel…Tiffany…Gucci…Christian Dior…and Coach…just to name a few.

Shopper One: “You can buy Chanel and buy Christian Dior.”

The luxury market has an eager buyer in town: the Chinese tourist. And they’re bringing in big bucks to the US, snapping up fancy, high-priced goods.

And the high-end shops are doing just about everything they can to attract the Chinese customer who has newly acquired deep pockets.

Bill Brobston, SVP/GM, Bergdorf Goodman: “Over the last twelve months, we’ve seen an uptick. I think there’s been so much wealth created there in over the last decade that a lot of Chinese citizens are getting out and shopping more and having more experiences outside China.”

High-end retailers like Bergdorf Goodman will go to extra lengths, such as holding a private fashion show at its fifth avenue store, followed by drinks with designers, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg and others, giving Chinese customers the chance to shop privately in the store, after hours, accompanied by Mandarin-speaking staff.

Wen Shefilen, Cantonese-Speaking Employee, Bergdorf Goodman: “Chinese customers generally like to deal with somebody that has a cultural sensibility and understand some of the preferences in terms of modesty, in terms of style and ultimately at the end of the day, they do like someone who they can speak their language to.

Howard Davidowitz, Chairman, Davidowitz & Associates: “We’ve had over 300,000 visitors to New York. That means jobs…that means budgets…that means a lot to us. If they are more comfortable with Cantonese and Mandarin, we ought to take the time to make them feel more comfortable.”

Mont Blanc, know for creating some of the finest pens in the world, hosted a private piano concert with pianist Lang Lang at its New York flagship store

Jan-Patrick Schmitz, CEO Montblanc, North America: “Today, not only do we offer special products, which are interesting to the Chinese, but also services like our staff speaks Chinese.”

Speaking Mandarin was a valuable skill to have when it came to landing the job.

Thom Su, Mandarin-Speaking Employee, Montblanc: “It simply made me stand out of all the other candidates here. We have a lot of clients from Mainland China that seems more open to having someone who speaks Chinese to help them understand our product.”

The product includes this Year of The Dragon pen, and brochures printed in Mandarin, and wallets custom fit to hold Chinese Yuan and American dollars, which they need fewer of when shopping in the US.

Shopper Two: “Expensive, like luxury goods, is much cheaper.”

That’s because of China’s added taxes on imports and consumption. There is also more on offer when it comes to the higher end names. On average, Chinese buyers spend more than other tourists, shelling out about six thousand dollars on each visit, as opposed to about four thousand dollars other tourists spend.

And when it comes to their favorite activity, the US Travel Association says shopping tops the list.

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1. All luxury goods companies are American or founded in the United States. True or false?

2. Is there a new market for luxury goods?

3. Are high-end retailers targeting and attracting Chinese tourists? What are some of the events or activities they do for the tourists?

4. Chinese speaking sales persons are more successful at selling to Chinese customers. Is this right or wrong? Why are they better at making sales?

5. Do New York leaders like the Chinese tourists? Why do they like them?

6. The Chinese visitors are expected to know English. Is this correct or incorrect?

7. What are some popular items or goods that the Chinese buy?

8. Are the Chinese tourists tight and stingy with their money?


A. Do many tourists visit your city and country? What are some tourist attractions? What do tourists like to do?

B. Where do visitors come from? Are there more Chinese visitors?

C. Do you go shopping abroad? What do you buy? What places would you like to go shopping?

D. What businesses or occupations benefit from tourism? Is there a luxury shopping area of your city?

E. Does your city and country produce luxury goods or traditional arts and crafts?

F. What will happen in the future?

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