Duty-free sales skyrocket

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Duty-free sales skyrocket

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Sales at local duty-free stores rose significantly last year as cosmetics and ginseng products continue to be popular not only with Koreans but also foreigners who shopped there, government data showed.

Sales at duty-free stores rose 33.5 percent year on year to 12.28 trillion ($10.6 billion) in 2016, the Korea Customs Service said Thursday. Sales of locally-made products at the shops also jumped 43.1 percent compared to the previous year to 4.87 trillion won and accounted for 35 percent of total sales.

“Cosmetics products were the most popular for those who shop at duty-free stores and other products such as bags and ginseng products were some of the other products that saw sales grow,” said Han Chang-ryung, a director at the customs agency.

The government said sales for small to midsize companies that provided goods to the duty-free stores increased.

“Duty-free stores are where small to midsize companies sell their products to enter the global market and the past year’s data showed that sales of such firms have improved,” said Han at the customs agency.

According to the data, 31.9 percent of the large duty-free stores’ sales came from selling goods produced by small and midsize firms. Sales at small and midsize duty-free stores rose 67.5 percent year on year to 953 billion won, accounting for 7.8 percent of the total sales made by all duty-free shops.

Meanwhile, Incheon International Airport on Thursday said its duty-free store sales were the highest last year among international airports worldwide.

Revenue at seven duty-free stores in Incheon was 2.3 trillion won. Dubai International Airport came in second with 2.2 trillion won and was followed by Singapore Changi Airport with 1.9 trillion won.


BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]

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