Korean travel retailer The Shilla Duty Free celebrated the soft opening of its new downtown duty free store in Phuket on Saturday.
The Shilla Duty Free Phuket comprises a 25,000 square metre, two-storey building in the island’s Kathu district, 15 minutes by car from the key tourist locations of Patong beach and Phuket town. The facility includes a 8,000square metre duty free store and cafeteria on the ground floor and a Thai gourmet seafood restaurant, Savoey, on the first floor with 500 seats to serve group tourists.
As reported, The Shilla Duty Free and two Thai partners (Gems Gallery and The Mall) established GMS Duty Free, a joint venture, in 2013 to launch and operate The Shilla Duty Free Phuket store.
The Shilla Duty Free is in charge of general operations, including merchandising and store operation. Gems Gallery, described as the leader in Phuket’s jewellery market, and The Mall, an operator of top-class department stores and shopping malls in Thailand, are in charge of marketing and sourcing of Thai goods.
The store includes around 400 brands of cosmetics & perfume, fashion & accessories, liquor and other products. More categories and brands, including watches and jewellery, will bring the total to about 450 by the time of the grand opening later this month.
The opening is a spur to The Shilla Duty Free’s growing offshore presence. The retailer said it is South Korea’s leading player abroad with sales of US$422 million outside the country in 2015 – some 15% of its gross sales.
The company is expanding its travel retail business both inside and outside South Korea through various joint ventures with various business partners. Besides the new Thai operation, HDC Shilla, a joint venture with Hyundai Development Company, operates Shilla iPark Duty Free in Yongsan, Seoul.
The Shilla Duty Free has also established a joint venture in Japan with Takashimaya and ANA to launch a downtown duty free store in Tokyo.
(Source: Moodie Davitt Report)