Top brand shops like Klarlund, one of Copenhagen’s most exclusive jewellery and Watch Stores, pay Chinese tourist guides millions to bring wealthy Chinese tourists to their shops.
Just 10-15 tourist guides control were rich Chinese tourists use their money, when they visit Copenhagen. It is a simple but very profitable business. Either shops pay 5 to 10 percent of their turnover on sale to Chinese tourist to the small group of guides or no Chinese tourists visits the shops.
5 to 10 percent maybe don’t sound like a fortune, but as it are very exclusive shops a good day can give a guide a nice income of several hundred thousand Danish crowns (1US$ = 5.8 DDK)
“Paying guides is a precondition for getting into dialog with Chinese customers. It is very common to pay guides, tells Stig Andersen, Managing Director at Klarlund.
Several shops confirm to business.dk that if they refuse to pay commission the Chinese guides boycotts their shop resulting in loss of millions in turnovers.
Paying commission to the guides isn’t illegal according to laws on competition, states the Danish Competition Authority.
The tourist organization Wonderful Copenhagen doesn’t like shops paying kickbacks.
“It is not a phenomenon that I welcome to Copenhagen,” says Peter Romer Hansen, Development Director at Wonderful Copenhagen.
At the Federation of Danish Retail the arrangement raises eyebrows too.
“I do not think stores should go along with this. It surprises me that stores agree to pay – both tourist organizations and Copenhagen stores should discuss whether this is the right way forward,” says Jens Birkeholm, Director.
Stig Andersen, Managing Director at Klarlund.