Chinese peddlers blamed as duty-free shop sales fall

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Chinese peddlers blamed as duty-free shop sales fall

Sales at Korea’s duty-free shops dropped in February from a month earlier after increasing for four consecutive months, industry data showed Tuesday.

The fall is attributed to a sharp drop in the number of Chinese peddlers visiting outlets after the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, the Korean Duty Free Association (KDFA) said, noting travelers buying goods to sell in China must have bought products at duty-free shops here in quantities before the holiday.

Sales fell 14 percent month on month to $1.18 billion in February, according to figures from the KDFA.

Sales at duty-free shops reached a high of $1.4 billion in January, a gradual increase from $1.11 billion in October.

“We think Chinese peddlers bought a lot of products ahead of the important holiday that affected overall sales in the following days,” an industry source said.

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