On-arrival duty free stores to open May 31

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On-arrival duty free stores to open May 31

The on-arrival duty free service at Incheon International Airport will finally open later this month.

The first on-arrival duty-free shops in Korea will open at Terminals 1 and 2 on May 31, announced Incheon Airport at a regular briefing Wednesday.

SM Duty Free shops will operate two stores on the first floor of Terminal 1 while Entas Duty Free will run a single store on the first floor of Terminal 2. They will be located near the baggage claim areas.

The two operators were selected based on the government’s decision to only allow small and medium-sized firms to run the on-arrival duty-free shops.

Items sold at the shops will include cosmetics, perfumes, packaged food, alcoholic beverages, fashion items, electronic goods and albums.

Domestic items will take up a larger portion of the products sold compared to those at departure terminals. Cigarettes, a duty-free mainstay, will not be sold as well as other items like fruit and processed meat products that could affect quarantine procedures.

Incheon Airport said income earned from rent fees for on-arrival duty-free shops will go toward public interest spending, like job creation in the airline industry.

“On-arrival duty-free shops will upgrade customers’ airport experience,” said a spokesperson for Incheon Airport.

Around 20 billion won ($18 million) is expected from annual rent and will be spent on public projects like creating jobs in the aviation industry.

The idea of on-arrival duty-free stores was first raised at the National Assembly in 2003, but concerns over congestion and complaints from airlines that sell duty-free products on planes delayed the implementation.

But the idea was brought up again after travelers complained about having to carry duty-free purchases bought before leaving Korea while on vacation.

On-arrival duty-free shops are operated at 149 airports in 73 countries, including Hong Kong and China.

The number of people taking international flights from Incheon International Airport stood at 23.52 million in the first four months this year, a 4.8 percent increase from 1.08 million in the previous year. During the same period, the number of people flying with low-cost carriers jumped 10.5 percent on year to 7.72 million.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]
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