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Bidding for Incheon airport duty-free store licenses falls through

Retail/Tourism 21:56 February 27, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) -- The license bidding for duty-free stores at Incheon International Airport fell through due to a lack of tenders, the airport operator said Thursday.

The biddings to run a section for perfume and cosmetics and another for apparel in the airport's first passenger terminal failed, according to Incheon International Airport Corp. (IIAC).

Located west of Seoul, the Incheon airport is South Korea's main gateway.

IIAC opened the bidding for five sections at the airport, as the contracts of the current business operators are set to expire in August.

Hotel Lotte, Hotel Shilla, Shinsegae and Hyundai Department Store took part in the auction, but among the five, the only license that all four applied for was the section for fashion and others.

"As far as I know, this is the first time the bidding to lease out the duty-free license at the Incheon airport No. 1 terminal fell through," an IIAC official said.

Industry watchers speculated that the high lease fee appears to have deterred the duty-free operators from taking part in the bidding for the perfume and cosmetics section.

Duty-free companies that win the license can run the business at the airport for five years and extend the operations for another five years if they meet evaluation criteria.

This photo shows a duty-free shopping zone of Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Jan. 9, 2020. According to airport authorities, the number of passengers using the airport in 2019 surpassed the 70-million mark, the most ever. (Yonhap)


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