Golden Week, the ongoing Chinese national holiday, is expected to result in an influx of tourist shoppers to London's West End.
In honor of the occasion, British cosmetics chain The Body Shop has added itself to the short – but growing – list of U.K. stores that have implemented Alipay, a Chinese online payments platform which makes it easier for consumers to spend their money abroad.
Alipay is already facilitated at department stores Harrods and Selfridges.
To further bolster its popularity with Chinese tourists in the U.K., some branches of The Body Shop already display point of sale information in Chinese characters and employ Mandarin-speaking sales assistants. As of October 1, Alipay was made available for a four-month trial period in the chain's stores in London's Covent Garden, Oxford Street and Regent Street.
The expected influx of Chinese shoppers follows a bumper summer for foreign tourist spending in the West End. According to data from tourism shopping company Global Blue, total tax-free (non-EU) sales in the shopping district during August were up 44 percent year-on-year.
Chinese visitor spending increased even more, up 65 percent in August on the year according to Global Blue, with the average tourist from the country shelling out £1,453 ($1,850).