The annual Chinese New Year festival (known as Lunar New Year in other Asian cultures) is in full swing. Here in the United States more than 7 million people of various Asian descent will celebrate and retailers here are starting to take notice.
Traditionally, gifts for the New Year have consisted of red envelopes called hongbao that contain cold hard cash. The growth of the Asian consumer, however, has given rise to a new tradition of shopping for the perfect gift, and retailers from low-end to high are taking notice.
Macy’s (M) hosted Chinese New Year celebrations at several stores across the country last week, and is featuring red gifts in its stores and online (red being the traditional color of good fortune in Chinese culture).
Saks Fifth Avenue department store has a similar selection online and a full Chinese New Year window display at its flagship location on New York's Fifth Avenue.
Origins skin care products is offering a special sampler set for the holiday.
New York City favorite Magnolia Bakery (of "Sex and the City" fame) has special cupcakes.
Bloomingdale's (owned by Macy’s) has a special “Year of the Sheep/Goat” tote bag and a full selection of other gifts online and in stores.
In New York City, some high-end retailers like Harry Winston and Omega watches are also getting in the New Year spirit, decorating their windows for the occasion.
The trend here in America is a new one. So new, in fact, that the National Retail Federation doesn’t track it... yet. As more people begin to celebrate the holiday in the states, it seems it may be only a matter of time before Chinese New Year sales are a staple for the average American shopper.