SOUTH KOREA. Lotte Duty Free has, as expected, retained the five-year duty free licence for its downtown store at the Coex Center in Gangnam, Seoul.

Welcoming the award, Lotte Duty Free said: “We will do our best to create a cultural tourism belt in Gangnam that will be linked with our World Tower stores in the future.

“Lotte Duty Free Coex is the largest and fastest-growing store for small and medium-sized (SME) brands. We will create a win-win in terms of products, logistics, sales and marketing by creating a SME specialist operation at Coex.”

Lotte Duty Free has held the licence for the Coex store since 2010. The current licence expires on 31 December.

The award is the first to be made after an overhaul of South Korea’s duty free licensing procedures. The evaluation process is now being led by non-government experts, as decreed by The Finance Ministry earlier in the year,

Calls for greater transparency in the duty free licence evaluation process, which had been criticised as biased and unfair, prompted the Strategy and Finance Ministry to revise the process and release the first round of changes.

Lotte Duty Free will champion small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the Coex store