SOUTH KOREA. Lotte Duty Free has opened a new 519sq m area at its flagship store in Myeong-dong, Seoul, with a strong emphasis on promoting small and medium-sized Korean brands.

A highlight of the zone, located in the store’s Star Avenue, is ‘Blooming Beauty’, a shop-in-shop that houses around 130 brands, 60 of them small, emerging brands and 30 of them independently owned. These include the Marvel collection from The Face Shop, Medicube, Miba, Cosmetea, Wakemake and others.

Curating the best of Korea: The Blooming Beauty corner has attracted strong interest in the days since opening.

The company said it was “upgrading its incubation programme” for smaller brands, and would support them by distribution through its online sales channel and at its downtown Seoul outlets. It said that these brands would “demonstrate their sales potential” in the new environment. The store, it added, “will enhance customer convenience through brand diversification and space expansion”.

To celebrate the opening of the new Star Avenue area, Lotte Duty Free presented gifts from 20 brand partners in the Blooming Beauty zone to shoppers who spent more than US$1. There are also special discounts for local residents until the end of October, and discounted sales of KT&G’s new ‘heat not burn’ product Lil will be available until 22 November.

Lotte Duty Free CEO Jang Sun-wook said: “The Star Avenue corner will further enhance the charm of the Myeongdong headquarters of Lotte Duty Free Shop, a shopping landmark in Korea, and [will] contribute to the overall development of the tourism industry. We will strengthen our role as a stepping stone for promising small and medium-sized brands to expand overseas.”