Retailers Prepare for Holiday Shoppers from China

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Relaxed visa rules and more flights are the main reasons for the influx of Chinese consumers

US merchants are ready with special products, snake-themed displays and Mandarin-speaking staff to greet the shopping sprees of Chinese travelers celebrating the Chinese New Year during an otherwise slow winter for US tourism.

The Chinese Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, begins on Feb 10 and can stretch into two weeks when combined with the Lantern Festival, which begins Feb 24.

On Fifth Avenue in New York, the No 1 US destination city for Chinese tourists according to latest data, decorations at luxury emporium Bulgari include a giant illuminated snake on the store's exterior in celebration of this year's Chinese Zodiac animal.

Across the street from Bulgari, the upscale Bergdorf Goodman women's department store has added Mandarin-speaking staff and a Lunar New Year-themed window display.

Saks Fifth Avenue, the high-end department store renowned for its American and international designer collections, has installed PIN pads at registers so Chinese travelers without American debit cards can use China UnionPay credit cards.

Read the rest at the China Daily.