Lotte Duty makes inroads into Australia, NZ

By Cho Chung-un

Retail giant raises overseas sales target to W1tr by 2020, eyes more M&As for expansion

  • Published : Mar 25, 2019 - 16:09
  • Updated : Mar 25, 2019 - 16:09

The duty-free arm of retail giant Lotte has opened new branches in Australia and New Zealand after acquiring five units from Australian duty-free operator JR Duty Free in August last year, the company said Monday.

By opening four branches in Australia and one in New Zealand, the South Korean duty-free operator aims to expand its business and become No. 1 in the Oceania market in the next four years, the company added. The company plans to generate more than 200 billion won in sales from its new Oceania-based business this year.

Lotte’s Oceania operations include duty-free shops at airports in Brisbane, Darwin and Canberra, as well as a city branch in Melbourne. Its New Zealand branch is located at Wellington Airport. The company plans to open a wine bar at the airport in addition to its existing whiskey bar to promote various wine products, not only from New Zealand but also from around the world.

(From left) Suho of boy band EXO, Lotte Group Vice Chairman Song Yong-duk, Lotte Duty Free CEO Lee Kap, Brisbane Airport CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff, Consulate General of South Korea in Sydney Yoon Sang-soo, Lotte Duty Oceania CEO Stephen Timms and Kai of EXO pose during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Brisbane Airport on Monday. (Lotte Duty Free)

Including its new businesses in Oceania, Lotte currently operates 12 branches in seven countries. The company hopes to generate 1 trillion won in sales from its overseas businesses by 2020. Last year it saw 7.5 trillion won in sales from the Korean market and 200 billion won from its overseas branches.

A Lotte official said the company is planning to expand its operations abroad by acquiring local duty-free operators or by winning operating rights.

It also plans to open new Lotte Duty Free branches in the Vietnamese cities Danang and Hanoi by June.

By Cho Chung-un (