Doosan Corporation’s Doota Duty Free store has brought forward its closure date from 30 April 2020 to January 25 2020, according to a regulatory posting seen by TRBusiness.
As reported in November, the anticipated deterioration of the duty free business in terms of profitability was the main reason for its decision to join Hanwha Group in ceasing operations. The decrease in profitability is expected to be driven by a fall in Chinese group tourists, the location of the store — the Korean DF&TR business mainly revolves around the Myeongdong area — and intense competition.
Located in the Doosan Tower in Dongdaemun Seoul, the Doota Duty Free outlet experienced a high-profile opening in May 2016. Its license was due to expire in May 2020.
Last month TRBusiness reported Hyundai Department Store Group would take over the Doota Duty Free store as part of a KRW61.9bn conditional acquisition. This publication was also reliably informed that Hyundai would need to obtain a licence to begin operations because duty free licences in South Korea cannot be traded between operators.
As expected, Hyundai was granted the required licence by the Korean Customs Corporation last month and is likely to begin operations in Q1 2020. The Hyundai Department Store Group already boasts one Korean downtown duty free store which opened last year.