[Sponsored Report] Southeast Asians get VIP service from Lotte

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[Sponsored Report] Southeast Asians get VIP service from Lotte

Lotte Department Store has launched an exclusive service for tourists from Southeast Asia, who are some of Korea’s most frequent visitors. The company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a partnership for its new service with three major department stores across Southeast Asia: Robinsons from Singapore, Times Square from Hong Kong and Siamparagon from Thailand. The signing ceremony was held last Tuesday in Bangkok, Thailand.

VIP members who sign up with any of the four department stores are offered the same benefits across all member stores.

The benefits include service at the VIP lounge, 10 to 20 percent discounts on every item, welcome gifts, and a direct tax refund service.

For the past few years, Lotte has been enjoying a boost in customers because of the increase of Chinese tourists to Korea. Chinese visitors traveling on holidays such as Labor Day and National Day have taken as much as 20 percent of total sales at Lotte’s main branch in Sogong-dong, central Seoul.

To prepare for further growth, the department store plans to target visitors from Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand with the MoU. The recent increase in the number of Southeast Asian tourists as well as their high income levels triggered such a decision, according to Lotte.

The Korea Culture and Tourism Institute announced that the number of visitors from Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand skyrocketed from 2009, by 70, 82 and 95 percent, respectively, in 2013.

These nations have high GDP per capita - Singapore over $50,000 and Hong Kong over $40,000 - so the tourists are expected to spend enough to boost the sales of Lotte Department Store. Lotte plans to build up the partnership and introduce additional marketing and products especially for Southeast Asian customers.

To attract more global customers, the company has previously signed VIP agreements with Macy’s from the United States, Galaries Lafayette from France and Manor from Switzerland.

“It is our goal to become a truly global department store,” said Lee Wan-shin, the marketing team director at Lotte Department Store. “We will continue to offer attractive services and products to potential customers from various nations.”

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