Hard-won bargains and high-end goods attract foreign athletes
The wholesale-focused Hangzhou Sijiqing Clothing Market and Hangzhou Tower, which is known for its luxury goods, have become popular destinations for foreign athletes to shop during the Asian Games, reported by local media Dushikuaibao.
The Sijiqing Clothing Market is known for its competitive prices and wide selections. The wholesale market has recently welcomed many athletes from different countries.
"Some Indian athletes came last Saturday and they were very skilled in bargaining," said a shop owner who was surprised by the athletes' bargaining skills. "They paid only 50 yuan (US$6.84) for a short-sleeved T-shirt that was priced at over 100 yuan."
He said that most athletes were interested in summer clothing such as short-sleeved T-shirts and shirts. Indian athletes preferred colorful clothes, while Iranian athletes liked plain clothes. Some athletes also bought clothes or shoes as gifts for their families.
According to the Sijiqing Clothing Market management department, the market made many preparations in advance. Before the Asia Games, they invited banks to exchange small change for the merchants, and there were four banks nearby that could exchange cash at any time. The government also arranged three workers proficient in foreign languages and many English-speaking volunteers to provide translation services for the merchants.
Members of the Saudi Arabia and Qatar delegations seemed to prefer the luxury shopping in Hangzhou Tower.
A staff member at Hangzhou Tower said that a customer from Saudi Arabia bought four identical Rolex watches priced at around 50,000 yuan each on September 23 at the Rolex counter.
"The members from Qatari delegations preferred ties and bought six from Hermes and Dolce&Gabbana, as well as a pair of Gucci men's crocodile skin shoes," he said.
Hangzhou Tower is one of the first pilot stores for immediate tax refunds for foreign tourists leaving China. Foreign customers who buy goods worth 500 yuan or more but less than 50,000 yuan, can directly receive their tax refunds in the mall by showing the goods, their passport, and their shopping receipts, which greatly enhances the shopping experience for foreign customers.