Lotte Duty Free has been on a steady path to the top since opening its Sogong-dong, Korea store in 1980. Guam got a taste of the Korean duty-free leader when it won a contract to operate at the Guam International Airport in 2013.
In its home country, it's ranked first, and in the world, it’s third in the duty-free industry. There's a goal to reach the top spot in the world by 2020, according to its website.
"We are exerting ourselves to take a huge step further, and as always, our underlying goal is to make people’s lives richer and happier," Jihyan Ethan Choi, Lotte Duty Free public relations assistant manager, says.
The current count is eight operational stores throughout Korea with six overseas, Choi adds. Last year, Lotte Duty Free opened three stores—Tokyo Ginza Store, Gimhae Airport Store, and Gimpo Airport Store. This year, it opened in Thailand at a massive, 9,354 square-meter downtown shop in Bangkok. The new store is located on the second and third floor of the entertainment and retail mega complex, Show DC.
The "Thai Zone" offers more than 50 brands with much more to follow as other store sectors open sequentially through the year. "LDF has built ‘Star Avenue,' which features ‘Hallyu’ star contents that visitors can experience, at the entrance of the complex mall Show DC," Choi says. "The store will assort more than 300 brands from every category."
Thailand will see its grand opening at the end of 2017, and there will be another grand opening for a store in Vietnam. For now, there are no plans for a downtown opening in Guam anytime soon, Choi says.
"We will continue to gaze at the opportunities to further overseas expansion, but we do not have settled plans right now," he says.
Tokyo Ginza Store
Lotte Duty Free Shop in Ginza, Japan’s most famous shopping street, is located at Sukiyabashi Intersection connecting Hibiya District, a historic and cultural area where premium hotels and traditional theaters can be found.
As the largest duty-free store (approximately 4,400 square meters) in Tokyo, LDF’s Ginza store occupies the eighth and ninth floors of Tokyo Plaza Ginza, a brand-new landmark in the area. Offering 150 international brands, the store is located at the easily accessible Sukiyabashi Ginza, and suggests a new shopping style not only to foreign visitors in Japan but also to Japanese tourists going abroad.
Gimhae Airport Store
Gimhae International Airport is located in Busan and services domestic and international flights. LDF’s store features a variety of collections such as perfume, cosmetics, clothing, accessories, watches, jewelry, and local specialties, as well as liquor and tobacco within its area of 1,000 square meters.
Gimpo Airport Store
Lotte Duty Free Gimpo International Airport store provides diverse categories of products mainly cosmetics and perfumes including K-beauty items along with fashion, accessories, and traditional foods including ginseng. It mainly caters to customers traveling to Japan, China, and Taiwan.