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Brief Published: 8 Feb 2013

Retailers Tap into Chinese New Year


As Chinese consumers continue to assert their global purchasing power, a number of retailers, particularly in the US, have begun exploring the Chinese New Year (February 10) as a fresh marketing opportunity, including the launch of special products and deals.

Select Bloomingdale’s department stores across the US are acknowledging the advent of the Year of the Snake with pop-up shops, limited edition red tote bags, and gift card giveaways for $8, $88 or $888 (8 is a lucky number in the Chinese culture). Stores in San Francisco, New York, Miami and Chicago will also reward foreign shoppers (classified in this instance as anyone from out of state) with a special “visitors savings pass” and gifts with purchase. Many Bloomingdale’s stores have already set up special window displays and in-store pop-up shops – some of which will extend to February 18 2013.    

British fast-fashion retailer Topshop is celebrating the holiday for the first time this year with limited-edition red gift cards and a short film titled The Lanterns, referenced in links and stills across social media platforms including Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The film is also being shown on the brand’s main e-commerce site, accompanied by a nifty link enabling consumers to “shop the look". As a cute touch, the film is 58 seconds long, honouring the numbers 5 and 8, which are traditionally associated with luck in China.

“Not only do we have a huge following in Asia, but there are also enormous numbers of Chinese tourists and Chinese communities based in cities all over the world,” Topshop’s chief marketing officer Justin Cooke told UK magazine Marketing Week. “I think it’s really important as a global brand that we speak to and understand the things that really matter to (our customers),” Cooke explained. “This is an important time of year.”

US brands have also been honouring the Chinese New Year with special product. Mac cosmetics has launched a Year of the Snake collection, while sports brands Nike, Adidas and Converse have all launched shoe designs for the holiday, featuring either snakeskin textural treatments or bold, oriental-inspired colour.