Billions around the world welcome the Year of the Dog. Global merchants are hoping to lure in packs of shoppers, with a wide range of dog-themed items. 

CGTN’s Karina Huber reports.

For the next couple of weeks, “America’s department store” is turning Chinese. It’s the Year of the Dog at Macy’s and there’s no mistaking it.

For years, U.S. department stores like Macy’s have sold special items to mark the holiday, because Chinese consumers continue to be such a formidable force.

“The Chinese consumer is the most important anywhere in the world,” Burt Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resource Group. “They’re the smartest consumers. They’re also the most brand-conscious consumers and the amount they spend every Lunar New Year tends to go up at least 11-12 percent each year.”

Macys’ Lunar New Year offerings are awash in red and gold. The dog features prominently on this year’s items-like this Estee Lauder compact that retails for 150 dollars. There’re lots of other accessories featuring dogs, too.

Radley London made a special leather satchel just for the holiday and Michael Kors made a dog-themed bag charm exclusively for Macy’s.

“We have a great team of buyers that really curate our merchandise for Lunar New Year really by listening to opinions from customers,” said Diana Paek, VP of Talent Acquisitions at Macy’s. “So, our customers are always giving us feedback, and we’re always listening.”

There has been some negative feedback from Chinese consumers in recent years, complaining that Western designers just don’t get it. They said items are often too literal and miss the nuances of Chinese culture.

But Flickinger said global brands like Gucci are getting better-and becoming subtler and more elegant.

“Those are more understated than they were, say a few years ago, during the Year of the Snake where the logos were very overstated,” Flickinger said.

Getting the holiday right is vitally important. Not only is China the world’s second largest consumer market, China’s currency has been gaining strength-boosting the spending power of Chinese consumers.