Happy year of the ape

Spring is coming to Europe and I can feel and smell the warmth float through the streets of the city. Shops are changing their windows and the open doors of the stores are much more inviting comparing with the winter. The shop owners making themselves ready for tourist season.

In 2014, there were over 582 million international tourist arrivals to Europe, an increase of 3.0% over 2013. The tourists enjoy the historical centers of our European cities and they love to shop. Of-course EuropeanLife wants all these tourists to visit our stores and buy our beautiful brands, that is our mission!
And while I walk around these shopping streets I suddenly notice a big change in one of my favorite windows of Passeig de Gracia.
On my way to the office I always check out the window of one of the best jewelry stores in Barcelona; Rabat. There is so much to see in the window of this store, they have a great eye for design and are very exclusive. And then, when I am enjoying a showcase of watches, I notice something different: at the window under the word RABAT there are Chinese letters which stands for “Happy year of the ape”.
Rabat is ready for Chinese visitors! I am amazed; for years all signs in the streets of Europe where in the local language and ofcourse in English. As kids we all learned English at school and knew that that was the international language we all had to speak.
And now I see Chinese on the windows of the shop. By my lunch I see explanations of the menu card in Russian. The list of accepted creditcards on the doors of all these shops are longer then ever, and in some of the most famous tourists spots people greet me these days by saying: “Nǐ hǎo!”

While large groups of entrepreneurs still learning English, the changes in the world are going so fast that it is hard to keep up with them.
You not only have to know your new clients, you have to speak their language, and you have to understand their culture. You have to know your market!

And while I am still processing this adjustment in our city while having lunch with my friend, I tell her that I red this week in our economics resources that India is the fastest growing economy in the world with 8.5 % and that they have beaten China in the last year. I wonder if we have to learn Hindi fast.

She tells me that the amount of tourists from the Middle East is growing fast and Arabic is the language of the future.

And so we not only showcasing in other international markets, we get the signs of globalization in our own backyards and we have to adjust fast!
But then I smile and realize; in all these crazy times, one thing never changes:

“The magic words for good selling are still “ To be seen”, and that’s what we do!”

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By this blog I hope to share, to help, to reach out, I hope we meet soon!

Bernadet