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Lotte Duty Free opens LDF House, South Korea’s first experiential duty free shopping showroom

“A place where you can enjoy duty free shopping, tourism and experiences all in one place.” That’s how Lotte Duty Free describes LDF House, an experiential stand-alone building set over three floors and a rooftop that opened at the travel retailer’s flagship Myeong-dong, Seoul location.

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LDF House comprises various spaces including a pop-up store, Lotte Duty Free Model photo zone, and even a hot air balloon lift.

Following a week of testing, the new facility officially opened, the inauguration being complemented by a range of special offers including NCT Dream goods (featuring the famed Korean boy brand), discount items and gifts for consumers visiting the new attraction.

Source: LDF House

LDF House is a space designed to provide customers with a differentiated experience and present what Lotte Duty Free called “a new paradigm” in duty free shopping.

The opening ceremony was graced by Lotte Duty Free CEO Kim Joo-nam; Seoul Customs Customs Director Kim Yong-ik; Myeongdong Merchants Association President Kang Tae-eun; Myeongdong Special Tourist Zone Council Executive Director Kim Yong-myeong; and Lotte Hotel CEO Kim Tae-hong.

NCT Dream members will also attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour the store.

Lotte Duty Free CEO Kim Joo-nam said, “LDF House is Lotte Duty Free’s first duty free showroom, and will become a barometer of travel retail trends.

“Lotte Duty Free will continue to invest and create new businesses to revitalise Korean tourism and take a leap forward in the duty free industry.”

LDF House was created based on a ‘win-win’ agreement with Myeong-dong merchants bolstered by strong support from Seoul Customs. The purpose is to revitalise the local commercial district and create a new tourist attraction, while also driving duty free spending.

LDF House is a 3-storey, 90-pyeong (300 square metres) standalone building located on the main street of Myeong-dong. Its offer centres around three elements: shopping, tourism, and customer experience. The facility is open 365 days a year from 11:00 to 20:00.

Up, up and away

The exterior reflects Lotte Duty Free’s brand identity, deploying the retailer’s familiar red colour and its hot air balloon motif introduced in 2022.

The company plans to present a variety of media art and content on the exterior walls using anamorphic techniques (the use of optical illusions to create three-dimensional and realistic effects) that offer a unique way to enjoy the Myeong-dong streets.

The first floor of LDF House serves as a pop-up store, including a star photo booth where Lotte Duty Free models appear in sticker photo frames.

The pop-up, which will change monthly, launches with a four-week focus on famed Lotte Duty Free Shop models.  To kick things off, NCT Dream’s advertising film location for Lotte Duty Free is being recreated. From 2 November the space will be themed around actor and singer Lee Jun-ho to attract global fans.

On 16 November, a pop-up store for US skincare-infused makeup brand Simihaze Beauty, founded by US Palestinian beauty influencers Simi and Haze Khadra, will open.

In December, a pop-up store for the character Zanmang Loopy, which has recently become very popular, will be introduced.

On-trend offers

Source: LDF House

The second and third floors feature products recommended by Lotte Duty Free Merchandise Directors, allowing customers to discover the latest duty free shopping trends.

These zones take the form of a smart store using digital signage, allowing shoppers to find the best products and exclusive items, plus a range of categories including cosmetics and jewellery. Discount benefits and promotional events add to the allure.

Product information is provided using a QR code, and payment can be easily made by connecting to Lotte Duty Free’s online store.

On the rooftop, a hot air balloon-shaped lift that customers can actually board and an LED screen showing night views of Seoul have been installed to enhance the experience.

The retailer is providing a range of coupons, free gifts and membership benefits. To commemorate the opening, NCT Dream goods will be given to the first 50 visitors each day, while opportunities to purchase alcoholic beverages such as rare whiskies will form a further part of the offer.

An incubator of K-brands

Up to KRW60,000 (USD44) in Pre-LDF-Pay  that can be used immediately at the Lotte Duty Free Myeong-dong main store and a Sulwhasoo gift are being given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Lotte Duty Free said it plans to continuously introduce new content and events to attract foreign tourists. In addition, based on strong product sourcing capabilities and brand collaboration experience, the retailer promises to provide a variety of shopping experiences to international tourists and to serve as an incubator to raise global awareness of K-brands.