Retail in Asia


Lotte Duty Free revives global ambitions with Sydney opening

Lotte Duty Free is promising “a duty free shopper experience like no other” at its new 3,000sq m downtown store in Sydney which opens on 5th May, 2022.

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Lotte Duty Free, South Korea’s travel retailer, will open the three-level boutique on the corner of Pitt Street and Market Street, the heart of Sydney’s retail precinct within the Central Business District.

Lotte Duty Free is targeting sales of KRW1 trillion (USD790.3 million) over the first ten years of operation. The company said that the pre-COVID Australian duty free market was also worth KRW1 trillion, noting that competition among global retailers including itself, Dufry, DFS Group and Heinemann is “fierce”.

Lotte Duty Free described the downtown Sydney store as a “stepping-stone” to becoming Australia’s largest duty free retailer. In a media release, it dubbed the opening “a restarting of our global business and a full-scale entry into the Oceania duty free market”.

The inauguration marks the first Lotte Duty Free shop opening in 683 days since its Singapore Changi Airport business launched in June 2020. The intervening months have coincided with the raging COVID-19 pandemic which has hit the company hard at home and abroad.

The travel retailer said that the store will house many brands never seen before in Australian travel retail. Popular brands making their debut include Pola and Cosme Decorté, which will be offered alongside a wide range of international names including Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Shiseido, SK-II and Gucci Beauty in a 100-plus beauty brand line-up.

Australian brands include Beauty Chef and Vita Glow, while the fast-growing niche fragrance sector is represented by a variety of labels including Le Labo, Frederic Malle and Kilian Paris. The store will offer more than 150 brands across the cosmetics, perfumes, wines & spirits, watches (including Omega, Montblanc, Longines and Mido) and jewellery categories.

Shoppers will be greeted by a concierge and discover a differentiated experience on each floor. The upstairs wines and spirits zone will feature a cellar-door experience where wine connoisseurs can connect with Lotte Duty Free’s resident Sommelier and enjoy local wines or sample premium whiskies from a 100-bottle Whisky Bar.

The store interiors were designed by leading Australian design company Bates Smart. The firm’s architectural styling has created what Lotte Duty Free called a “resh and contemporary” environment that integrates the latest technology to ensure an informed and pleasurable customer shopping experience.

“Lotte is home to some of the most luxurious brands in the world. We are proud to offer shoppers everything they are wanting in a space that elevates this part of their travel journey. Our retailer partners are testimony to Lotte’s reputation worldwide and we are excited to bring this retail experience to one of our favourite cities, Sydney,” said Lee Kap, CEO of Lotte Duty Free.

“The duty free experience is as important as all other aspects of the travel journey. From the hotel to the location, travellers want something special and memorable,” said Stephen Timms, CEO of Lotte Duty Free Oceania.

“Design innovation and client experience were the guiding principles in the creation of this iconic store. Lotte Duty Free is a travel destination in its own right and something we want people to build into their plans and be excited to experience as part of the international travel journey,” Timms added

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Lotte Duty Free entered the Oceania travel retail market after acquiring five duty free shops in Australia and New Zealand from JR/Duty Free in August 2018 and relaunching the following January. The downtown Sydney store is the company’s first new store in Oceania.

(Source: Moodie Davitt)