Shopping Big Draw for Chinese Tourists

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NEW YORK -- Frenetic late-night shopping is a distinct feature of Black Friday, when throngs of shoppers march to stores nationwide in the United States, grabbing incredible discounts and deals every year on Thanksgiving night.

Amid the excitement and buzz of shoppers in the dimly lit Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, a well-known outlet in New York City, several greetings in Chinese rang loud and clear during the early hours of early Nov 25.

"What did you get?" was one of the questions posed by a Chinese shopper to her friend.

"PRADA won't open till 5 am, so I grabbed a few Coach handbags first," her friend replied.

Inside the Coach shop it was just 3 am, but most of the shoppers who thronged the store were Chinese tourists. Two Chinese women sat in a corner with almost 30 items, and were trying to figure out which ones they had to give up because of the store's purchase limitations.

A Chinese man in his early 40s was busy posing questions to most of the Chinese female shoppers in his strong Northeast Chinese accent: "Do you think a 20-year-old girl would like this bag?"

Despite the mad scramble, language barriers and drowsiness notwithstanding, there was no dearth of Chinese shoppers looking for bargains. For many of them, the idea of shopping in the US was the biggest draw as they waited patiently with bloodshot eyes.

"Every shop had long queues of Chinese tourists," says 29-year-old Hou Xiaoguang, a tourist from Beijing. "People are buying like everything is free!"

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