Leading retailers vie for duty-free license in Jeju

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Leading retailers vie for duty-free license in Jeju

Korea’s three leading retailers have submitted their bids to run a duty-free business at an airport on the country’s resort island of Jeju, its operator said Monday, amid signs that Chinese tourists may return in force.

Lotte Duty Free, Shilla Duty Free and Shinsegae DF applied to operate a duty-free store at Jeju International Airport, according to Korea Airports Corp. (KAC). The companies need approval from both the airport and local customs authorities to secure the right to run a duty-free business at the airport, which is valid for five years.

The bidding took place as Hanwha Galleria, a retail unit of Hanwha Group, decided to return its license at the airport, which was originally valid until April 2019. It is slated to operate the store till the end of this year.

Duty-free operators suffered a sharp drop in the number of tourists after Beijing banned Korea-bound tour packages in mid-March in apparent retaliation over Seoul’s installation of a U.S. antimissile system.

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