A visit to the stores where the sky is no limit

By Xu Lin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-11-28 07:29:51

A visit to the stores where the sky is no limit

Alex K. Fong/Xu Lin/Feng Xxiuxia/China Daily

Upmarket companies have realized that Chinese shoppers are voting with their passports, but for many the lure of overseas bargains remains irresistible

Someone somewhere wants to clip Yu Rong's wings, but for the moment she refuses to be grounded.

When she goes hunting for a bargain, this shopaholic is as free as a bird, heading out to the airport, jumping on a plane and flying off to the likes of New York, Paris or Milan.

When the 29-year-old takes off she will be armed with little more than a bank card or two and a parsimoniously packed suitcase, but when she returns to Beijing a few days later it will be weighed down with cosmetics, clothes and shoes, and her bank balance will be as much as 20,000 yuan ($3,000) lighter.

In June 2012, Yu spotted herself in a photo that did the rounds of the Internet showing her lined up with others in front of the Chanel store in Paris. Like all good pictures, this one told a story: Among the dozens of shoppers in that queue, almost all were Asians, 80 percent of them probably Chinese, Yu says.

These shopping excursions are "all about bargains", says Yu, who works in the fashion industry in Beijing.

"Sometimes the money you save cancels out the cost of your flights, and the same handbag made in different countries may be different in some ways."

She recently spent 8,000 yuan on a handbag in Milan, she says, saving herself as much as 1,600 yuan.

"But there is more to travel than shopping; I also see the sights and enjoy eating the local food."

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