Doosan quits the duty-free market, cites competition

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Doosan quits the duty-free market, cites competition

Doosan is giving up its duty-free license.

The exact closure date for Doota Duty Free will be determined following negotiations with Korea Customs Service, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

But it will be before April next year.

The expiration date for Doosan’s duty free operation license is due in May 2021.

The decision follows a similar move by Hanwha Galleria Timeworld, which closed its duty-free business in April, ahead of its duty-free license expiration.

Doosan and Hanwha received their duty-free licenses in 2015.

Since Doosan opened Doota Duty Free in May 2016, the business has grown to achieve 700 billion won ($626 million) in annual sales, according to Doosan.

“The drop in the number of Chinese tourists and the intensified competition with city duty-free shops has resulted in the retreat in profitability,” said Doosan in a statement.

“Also, the number of duty free operators in Seoul has more than doubled over the past several years. When we applied for the application in 2015, there were six duty free stores in Seoul, but now there are 13,” said a spokesperson from Doosan.

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

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