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Duty-free sales hit 6-month low in July on less foreign spending

Corporate Newsroom 14:10 September 02, 2022

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- Duty-free sales in South Korea sank nearly 15 percent to a six-month low in July due to decreased spending by foreigners, industry data showed Friday.

Combined sales at duty-free shops in Asia's fourth-largest economy stood at 1.25 trillion won (US$920 million)) in July, down 14.6 percent from a month earlier, according to the Korea Duty Free Shops Association.

It marked the lowest monthly tally since January this year, when sales reached 1.08 trillion won.

Spending by foreigners, especially Chinese vendors, plunged about 16 percent on-month to 1.12 trillion won in July. Their spending accounts for the bulk of South Korea's duty-free sales.

The tumble came as Chinese vendors cut back on their purchases amid a slowing Chinese economy and the impact of Beijing's coronavirus lockdowns of Shanghai and other major cities.

Spending by local shoppers edged up to some 130.6 billion won in July from 129.9 billion won the prior month.

Foreign shoppers numbered 134,417 in July, up from 110,730 a month earlier and marking the second straight month of their number surpassing 100,000.

The number of domestic visitors hit a yearly high of more than 830,000 in July, according to the data.

This undated file photo shows shoppers at a duty-free shop at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)


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