Korea’s duty free players see Q1 sales surge as the industry rebounds

Korea’s duty free players see Q1 sales surge as the industry rebounds

THE WHAT? Korea’s top duty free companies have all seen a strong Q1, thanks to more countries opening borders to visitors post-COVID, according to a report by Pulse News.

THE DETAILS The key players are reported to have seen sales increase as much as ninefold, with sources reporting that Lotte Duty Free saw sales from domestic customers rise 400 percent YOY in the quarter, Shinsegae Duty Free increased 680 percent and Hyundai Department Store Duty Free Co. climbed 854 percent.

Luxe fashion brands saw a particularly robust quarter, with Lotte reporting a 290 percent increase in the top 20 fashion brands, while Shinsegae’s Incheon International Airport outlet likewise saw sales of luxury fashion brands increase month on month in the quarter.

However, it was cosmetics and perfumes that made up the highest proportion of sales, accounting for 80 percent of Hyundai Department Store Duty Free.

THE WHY? It seems that the rebound of international travel is spelling success for the luxury travel retail market.

An official from Shinsegae said: “The number of domestic customers has increased to 60 percent of 2019 levels.  

“Sales from Southeast Asian consumers, including Vietnamese and Thais, are growing rapidly, filling the void left by the drop in Chinese visitors. Sales from Southeast Asian group tourists increased by 20 percent in the first week of April from a week ago.”