[UPDATED] Incheon sales at US$2.43bn as expectation builds ahead of tender

By Luke Barras-hill |

Incheon-Terminal-2-leadIncheon International Airport has cemented its standing at the summit of global airport duty free after reaching a new record of US$2.43bn in 2019.

The ‘outstanding performance’ is linked to variables includes increased passenger traffic, the renovation of several departure duty free shops (luxury boutique and cosmetics flagship stores) and the successful opening of South Korea’s first arrivals duty free shops in May.

Operator Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) states the full-year 2019 result represents growth of +2.7% compared with last year. IIAC had previously told TRBusiness that sales in the 10 months ending 31 October rose by 2.3%.

Departing international passenger traffic volumes grew by 4.5% last year, TRBusiness has been told. While IIAC did not provide an exact figure, it is estimated to be approximately 70 million based on last year’s return (67 million) meaning traffic would have outstripped revenue growth.

As reported, Dubai Duty Free confirmed last week its annual duty free revenues hit US$2.029bn.

Cosmetics and perfumes took the largest share of Incheon Airport duty free sales (41%) at US$985m, followed by liquor and tobacco US$542m (23%).

IIAC points to the increased competitiveness and ‘diversity’ at its arrivals duty free shops and its expectation for higher sales linked to revised customs regulations that permit the forthcoming sale of tobacco.

At the time of writing, the industry is still awaiting news on the Terminal 1 duty free tender. TRBusiness understands the release of the RFP is imminent.

“From the coming September, as the new duty free concessions begin, followed by the termination of the current contract of Terminal 1, it is expected that Incheon Airport leads the airport duty free industry through evolved, whole new concessions by providing not only aesthetic pleasure but a customer-oriented shopping layout and various shopping contents,” IIAC stated.

More to follow…

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