Lotte Duty Free World Tower reopened for business yesterday, precisely 193 days since it was forced to close on 26 June 2016, following its unsuccessful 2015 bid to retain its trading licence.
As reported, Lotte lost out on that hugely controversial bidding round, but regained the five-year licence last month in a bid for four new Seoul downtown duty free permits. Moving with impressive speed, it has reopened one of the country’s biggest duty free stores within just 19 days of that landmark decision.
Following the issuing of the regulatory patent, Lotte Duty Free confirmed a sequential opening by brand, starting yesterday. Some 350 brands will eventually be offered in a much-expanded shop.
On the opening day, around 5,000 Chinese tourists will visit the store, and some 8,000 overseas travellers in total. Various promotions will celebrate the reopening, including special memorial gold bar prizes and hotel accommodation gifts.
Lotte Duty Free CEO Jang Seon-wook said, “For the stable operation of the World Tower store, more than 1,000 employees are returning home and preparing for sales. For customers who waited for the reopening of the World Tower store, I will repay you in kind.”
He added: “We will do our best to build the world’s only one-stop tourist and shopping infrastructure in connection with the various cultural tourism resources around the World Tower, and to make the World Tower complex a landmark of tourism in Northeast Asia.”
As revealed earlier by The Moodie Davitt Report, Lotte will expand the store by some +52% from 11,400sq m to 17,334sq m and increase the number of brands to over 700 from the former 500-strong line-up. The company said it will achieve sales of KW1.2 trillion (just over US$1 billion) in 2017.
Free accommodation at Lotte Hotel in Seoul and 20 buffet dinner prizes will also be offered in the draw. In addition, Korean customers spending over a certain level will enter a draw offering attendance at three major winter events – the Quebec Winter Carnival in Canada; the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan; and the Ice Blue Light Festival in Harbin, China.
All Korean customers who purchase over US$400 worth of duty free will be presented with a stylish tumbler while stocks lost.
(Source: Moodie Davitt Report)