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Duty-free sales hit new monthly high in Aug.

Retail/Tourism 10:35 September 25, 2019

By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, Sept. 25 (Yonhap) -- Sales at South Korean duty-free stores hit a new monthly high in August, industry data showed Wednesday, on the back of Chinese vendors who buy products in large quantities and resell them back home.

The combined sales of local duty-free shops reached 2.18 trillion won (US$1.82 billion) last month, compared with a previous monthly record of 2.17 trillion won in March, according to the data from the Korea Duty Free Shops Association.

The sales increase came despite Beijing's implementation of a new law in January that levies taxes on small-scale vendors who sell their duty-free purchases, such as cosmetic products, to consumers back home.

But Chinese retailers are likely continue to purchase South Korean duty-free items, which are cheaper and more reliable, despite the regulation.

Local duty-free operators have employed an active marketing strategy, including practices like handing out free gift cards to Chinese vendors -- another reason for the stellar sales figure, according to an industry source.

This undated photo shows customers at a duty-free store in downtown Seoul. (Yonhap)

khj@yna.co.kr
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