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Lotte, Shilla Duty Free to Exit Korea’s Incheon Airport

A man walks past signage for a Hotel Lotte Co. Duty Free store in Seoul, South Korea.
A man walks past signage for a Hotel Lotte Co. Duty Free store in Seoul, South Korea. Getty Images. (Bloomberg)

Where the travel retail giants’ contracts expired at the end of February, their store spaces in Incheon Terminal 1 will be temporarily occupied by Shinsegae, Hyundai Department Store and Kyung Bok Kung’s duty free arms, DFNI reports.

The news highlights the challenges travel retailers continue to face post-pandemic and the knock-on effect felt by fashion and beauty brands reliant upon them. Though South Korea has not been hit as hard by the crisis, its duty free operators, which rely largely on tourists from countries like China, continue to suffer as global travel flows stall. And it’s not over yet: the Fitch Group predicts that international travel flows across the Asia Pacific region will see a gradual return beginning in the second half of 2021.

Incheon has already gone through the bidding process for its Terminal 1 concessions several times. Throughout this process, the airport made changes to its contract terms including a 30 percent cut to rents and exemptions from guarantees until foot traffic recovers 60 percent year-on-year.

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