Lotte Duty Free expands in Seoul as shoppers surge

Lotte Duty Free renovates and extends main Seoul store to handle rapidly growing customer numbers

Lotte Duty Free, part of South Korea’s largest retailer, the Lotte Group, has renovated and extended its main Seoul store to handle rapidly growing customer numbers, resulting from the surging numbers of Chinese tourists visiting Korea.

Sales to Chinese shoppers soared 70% year-on-year in the first half, said Lotte. The renovated store has 10,800sqm floor space, which is 1,500sqm larger than before. It now stocks a wider variety of domestic brands and provides space to accommodate larger numbers of customers.

Lotte Duty Free said it now operates the South Korea’s biggest cosmetics section, selling products from 186 brands, of which about 30% are Korean. Chinese shoppers generated roughly half of Lotte Duty Free’s overall revenue as of the end of June.

Separately, Lotte researched the preferences of 100 Korean VIP customers at a branch of Avenuel, a chain of department stores it operates that specialises in luxury brands for wealthy customers. The study showed that the VIPs’ most favoured beauty brand is Sisley.

David Kilburn, Tokyo