The Body Shop To Launch Alipay Mobile Wallet In Three London Stores

Wirecard announced on Wednesday (Sept. 28) that The Body Shop, the U.K. cosmetics and skin care company, will launch mobile wallet Alipay in three of its London stores.

According to a press release, the stores will use the new Scan Alipay App provided by Wirecard. The launch will take place on Oct. 1, parallel to the start of China’s national Golden Week. This date marks a week-long national holiday during which millions of mainlanders set off on vacation and hit the European shopping streets. London is expecting to see thousands of Chinese tourists during this time.

The Chinese tourism market is growing constantly in Europe and offers revenue opportunities for retailers. According to VisitBritain, more than 250,000 Chinese tourists visited the U.K. in 2015, an increase of 45 percent from the previous year, and spent a total of £586.22 million. Alipay will offer a convenient and secure payment method for Chinese tourists through a simple mobile payment.

“China’s beauty market is the second biggest in the world. The Body Shop is extremely popular with the global Chinese shopper and accounts for a significant percentage of sales in our major U.K. stores. With over 100,000 Chinese customers in the U.K., we want to offer a great shopping experience, including simple and secure payment,” said Simon Coble, U.K. general manager at The Body Shop, in the press release. “We already have Chinese-speaking beauty assistants and product translations, so we believe offering the convenience of accepting Alipay will offer a truly holistic experience for the Chinese shopper, and Golden Week is the perfect time to launch.”

For retailers, the app offers a simple way to benefit from Alipay payment acceptance: A customer making a cashless payment with their Alipay App simply needs to show the retailer the barcode on their smartphone display. All the retailer is required to do is enter the amount payable into the Scan Alipay App on a mobile device and then scan the QR code on the customer’s smartphone. Payment processing and acquiring is handled by Wirecard.