Lotte's duty-free store in Jakarta International Airport closed Monday after its contract expired, the company said. Opened in January 2012, it was the firm's first overseas store. The closure comes at a time when local duty-free stores are struggling to cope with the diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing that have impacted sales.
"We took part in the tender after our contract expired, but a local company won the bid," a Lotte official said. "We will focus on our other foreign stores, including the one in downtown Jakarta, and continue to push for overseas expansion."
|This file photo provided by Lotte Duty Free, South Korea`s top duty-free operator, on Jan. 31, 2012, shows the opening ceremony of its first overseas shop at Jakarta International Airport in Indonesia on the same day. (Yonhap)|
Lotte currently operates six duty-free stores abroad including ones in Japan, Vietnam and Thailand.
South Korean duty-free operators, meanwhile, are taking the brunt of a steep drop in the number of tourists after Beijing banned the country's travel agencies from selling Korea-bound package tours beginning mid-March in apparent retaliation over the deployment of a US missile defense system here.
The number of Chinese tourists in South Korea more than halved last month on-year, marking a decline for four straight months. (Yonhap)