THE WHAT? Lotte and Shilla have announced the closure of duty-free stores at Incheon Airport, South Korea, according to a report by the Korea Herald.
THE DETAILS The duty-free operators, which opened stores in the airport’s Terminal 1, are set to vacate the spaces in February after withdrawing their respective bids for the concessions.
While both Lotte and Shilla saw their leases expire in August 2020, the operators extended by six months. Further extensions are no longer an option due to the Customs Act.
THE WHY? The closures are the latest problems for the beleaguered travel retail industry, which has seen a drastic drop in footfall since the onslaught of COVID-19.
Looking forward, an official at Incheon Airport said, “We are considering passenger demand, COVID-19 vaccines’ approval and other issues related to the pandemic to make a decision on the timetable and terms for the rental bidding process.”