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What are Korean duty-free operators doing to survive the pandemic?

korea duty free

South Korean duty-free operators are breaking their business barriers and teaming up with competitors at home and abroad to survive the protracted Covid-19 environment where international travel remains restrained.

SEE ALSO : Hyundai and Shinsegae expand into premium cosmetics sector

Shinsegae Duty Free launched ‘Valentino Beauty,’ becoming the first in the Asia-Pacific region to bring in the cosmetics line from the famed Italian fashion house Valentino. It released the luxury cosmetics line’s Go-Clutch face powder online and opened an official offline shop in its Myeong-dong branch in central Seoul.

Shinsegae said it is planning to launch more high-end cosmetics brands to attract young consumers.

Industry leader Lotte Duty Free is the first in the industry to jump into overseas direct buying business by combining its strong purchasing power and expansive overseas logistics networks.

In June, Lotte opened ‘LDF Buy,’ an online direct sourcing platform directly operated by its Australian subsidiary. It sells more than 200 products from Australia’s popular health supplement brands including Doctor Natural and SpringLeaf. Since the local subsidiary directly purchases and delivers products to Korea, the platform guarantees product quality and offers excellent after-sales service.

Lotte is planning to add products from Japan and Singapore in the future to offer a variety of health supplements for Korean consumers.

Lotte is also employing cutting-edge technologies to bolster its online business. It has recently launched virtual sunglass try-on powered by augmented reality (AR) technology and opened a virtual flagship store for high-end skincare brand Sulwhasoo.

Shilla Duty Free is teaming up with a number of external distributors at home and abroad to prop up its sales.

Shilla had previously offered duty-free stocks only through its own online shopping platform Shilla Trip, but it has recently unloaded more than 2,000 products from some 100 brands at e-commerce leader Coupang’s open market platform.

SEE ALSO : How are Korea’s duty free operators doing in the second quarter?

It is also tapping the Chinese market through a strategic partnership with rivalling Hainan Tourism Duty Free City operating a duty free store in China’s southern island of Hainan. Under the partnership, the two will set up a joint venture and cooperate in all fields of duty-free business, including sourcing, market exploration, and product development.

(Source: Pulse News)