Korea’s duty-free shops are resuming business and expanding at home and abroad as travel recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Lotte has opened a new duty-free shop in the burgeoning Vietnamese resort of Da Nang. It is already the second new store Lotte has opened overseas this year following downtown Sydney in May.
The new store near My Khe Beach is Lotte’s fourth and largest in Vietnam with 2,000 sq.m. of shop space. Da Nang was a popular travel destination before the pandemic with 3.66 million tourists a year, and about half of them were Koreans.
Lotte expects to make more than W50 billion in annual sales from the store now that the hotel occupancy rate in Vietnam has rebounded to 75 percent and Korean tourists are returning (US$1=W1,311).
Lotte has 13 stores in six countries and is back in the black, making W1.28 trillion in sales and W50.8 billion in operating profit in the third quarter this year. It was able to attract more than 10,000 group tourists in Southeast Asia even as its mainstay Chinese customers are still in lockdown. It achieved a sevenfold increase in sales on-year in Australia, Singapore and Vietnam.
Next year Lotte is opening a new store in downtown Hanoi and another at Singapore’s Changi International Airport whose opening has been postponed by the pandemic.
Shilla, meanwhile, expanded both its store at Changi in June and at Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok International Airport in July. Shilla posted W1.36 trillion in third-quarter sales this year, the best since the outbreak of the pandemic.
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