Slightly dazed by cornucopia of women’s shoes on slick display, I was roused only when the haze of muzak wafting over the PA system was suddenly dispersed by the jaunty strains of the Chinese New Year ditty ‘Gongxi Gongxi’.
A 1946 composition from Shanghai, the song has gone from classic to kitsch, evolving to become the most popular festive song in the Chinese-speaking world. Its ubiquity rests on the many — for me at least — teeth-grindingly cloying versions played all over shops and markets in Asia. (Click here for example and don’t say I didn’t warn you)
I was somewhat surprised by the song’s appearance in the British retail icon — not least because it’s still some ways off the Year of the Dragon. But then looking at the shoppers around me it all made sense.
Mainland Chinese travellers spent some £200 million on Bond Street last year. That’s a 155 percent surge from 2009, according to an association of luxury retailers in the London thoroughfare.