Shilla Duty-Free is open for business in Phuket, Thailand

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Shilla Duty-Free is open for business in Phuket, Thailand

Hotel Shilla opened a duty-free shop in Phuket, Thailand with aims to ramp up its overseas duty-free business, the company said Sunday.

It is the first time the local duty-free business operator opened up an off-airport, downtown duty-free shop overseas.

The new Shilla Duty Free is in the Kathu District, operating on two floors with 25,000 square-meters of space. The first floor is filled with duty-free stores and cafes while Thailand’s renowned restaurant Savoey Seafood fills the second floor.

The shop began with about 400 cosmetics, fashion and alcohol brands Saturday and is set for a grand opening with 50 additional watch and jewelry brands by next month.

The company, which has the largest overseas sales record among domestic duty-free shop operators, aims to solidify its top place through opening of the new foreign branch, it said in a statement. Last year, it made roughly 450 billion won ($382 million) from its overseas businesses.

Since 2012, it has operated overseas duty-free shops in airports such as Singapore’s Changi International and Macau International. Thailand was newly selected because it has rapidly been attracting Chinese tourists and duty-free business there is growing 20 percent annually, the company said.

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