Chanel to close two duty-free stores in Busan, Jeju
Chanel will close two duty-free stores in Busan and Jeju Island on Thursday.
Its boutiques at Lotte Duty Free's Busan branch and Shilla Duty Free's Jeju branch will close, the only duty-free Chanel stores outside of Seoul that are not in airports.
Chanel will focus on running its duty-free boutiques at airports. It opened a duty-free boutique at Incheon International Airport’s Terminal 1 in last October, returning to the terminal after pulling out in June 2015.
The company now has two boutiques at the airport. Another is located in Terminal 2, and has been there since 2018.
Other luxury brands are also closing their duty free boutiques outside of airports.
Falling revenue at downtown duty-free stores is one of the main reasons. The number of tourists visiting Korea during the pandemic has plummeted. Professional Chinese resellers who buy duty-free items in bulk made up for some 90 percent of sales at local duty-free stores last year.
Louis Vuitton closed its boutique in Lotte Duty Free’s Jeju branch in January. The rest of its non-airport duty free boutiques will close by end of March 2023.
Rolex has also been closing its duty-free boutiques. The watchmaker had 10 non-airport duty-free stores as of the first half of last year, but now only has two — one at Shilla Duty Free’s Jeju branch and another at Lotte Duty Free’s World Tower branch in Jamsil, southern Seoul.
BY LEE TAE-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]