Try the new, improved Hartford Courant digital edition today

Chanel S.A.

As markets drop, question is: will the Chinese still shop?

The designer outlet mall of Bicester Village is set in the English countryside near Oxford, but it might as well be in China. Quiet Mandarin chatter fills the air. Most of the shoppers are Chinese — and so are half the sales assistants. In the Burberry store, many try on the brand's signature trench coats, which go for at least 600 pounds ($925) after discounts. Some punch numbers into their smart phone calculators to work out the exchange rate; more take photos of the goods on offer, likely to message friends at home for a nod of approval. "I don't know too much about designer labels. My friends tell me what to get," says Andy Cao, clutching about six shopping...