Another downtown duty free store for Lotte, this time it’s the biggest in Vietnam

South Korean company Lotte Duty Free has opened its first duty-free store in downtown Vietnam in the city of Da Nang, the resort town that has become a hotspot for South Korean travellers.

At nearly 22,000 square feet, Lotte’s new unit, which opened on Tuesday, is the largest duty-free store in the country. It is located at VVMall in the My Khe area, in the middle of the popular beach strip that runs from north to south. Lotte hopes to generate $38 million a year from the store, but only once Vietnam’s tourism market recovers after being decimated by Covid.

The travel retail giant, whose core revenue comes from its home market, continues to grow internationally now that the Covid crisis has subsided. With the Da Nang unit now open, Lotte Duty Free has 20 duty-free stores in seven Asia-Pacific countries.

In May, the retailer, first established in 1980, opened its first downtown store in Sydney, Australiaand in October, in a bid to revive sales in Seoul and at its flagship store in Ginza, Tokyo, Lotte multiplied promotions to support travel to Japan as visa-free tours were relaunched on October 11.

Mid-2020, during Covid, the South Korean retailer also launched its wine and spirits concession at Singapore Changi Airport going online because there were no passengers at the hub. The company says it was the industry’s first online duty-free shop supporting five languages: Korean, English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Japanese and Vietnamese.

Vietnam could hold the key to success in the next 12 months. Before the pandemic, the country was Lotte Duty Free’s top international market “by sales, store size and all”, according to a company spokesperson. Lotte has three other stores in the market, but not downtown so far. In 2017, the retailer launched duty-free operations at Da Nang International Airport, followed by two more stores in Vietnam: one at Cam Ranh Airport in 2018 and another at Noi Bai Airport in 2019 .

A home for Koreans

Commenting on the current conditions and nationalities that would be key to sales growth at VVMall, the spokesperson said“The biggest spender group will be the Koreans. Currently, one in two foreign tourists visiting the city is Korean.

According to seat capacity analyst OAG, in the period from October 2021 to September 2022, the route between Seoul Incheon Airport in Korea and Da Nang is the second most competitive in the world. While Vietjet is the largest carrier operating 28% of capacity, the rest is fairly evenly distributed, which should help keep fares low and encourage more tourist traffic.

For South Koreans visiting Da Nang, Lotte Duty Free’s new store will feel reassuring and familiar. It was designed with their needs in mind and is a travel destination in its own right with over 200 brands of cosmetics, spirits, jewelry, watches and fashion. Favorite Korean brands like Cheong Kwan Jang, Sulwhasoo and The History of Whoo are present as well as Vietnamese household products and souvenirs such as beads, coffee and local foods.

As the downtown Da Nang store gives Lotte Duty Free a strong position in the booming Vietnamese market, Lotte Duty Free CEO Kap Lee wants to do more than just maintain a leading position in South Asia. South East. “We will continue to grow our business through continued investment and overseas expansion,” he said.

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