Hanwha Galleria, the department store unit of Hanwha Group, will manage the Jeju International Airport duty-free store from April 20, Korea Airports Corporation said Thursday.
This marks the first duty-free store to be operated by the country’s 10th-largest family-run conglomerate. The store was previously run by Lotte.
Hanwha has reportedly offered to pay an annual rent of 24.1 billion won ($22.7 million) to run the 409-square-meter store, located on the third floor of the airport’s international terminal, over the next five years.
“The duty-free store is part of Hanwha Galleria’s diversification plan,” a company spokesman said.
Galleria Department Store, the second-most visited department store by foreign shoppers last year, is a prestige shopping center in the affluent Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul.
The company plans to further promote its luxury image via the duty-free store to attract foreign tourists, especially from China.
“We thought this was a great opportunity for us to make the most out of our assets, and at the same time obtain know-how in DFS operations,” the company spokesman added.
Jeju International Airport has shown high potential for the duty-free industry. The airport’s duty-free store posted 60 billion won in sales last year, due mainly to an increasing number of Chinese tourists in the country over the past few years.
By Bae Ji-sook (firstname.lastname@example.org)