Lotte and Shilla to temporarily close Jeju downtown stores, effective 1 June

By Andrew Pentol |


Sales slumped 95% at Lotte Duty Free’s Jeju downtown store in May 2020.

Lotte Duty Free and Shilla Duty Free are to temporarily close their Jeju City downtown stores, effective 1 June 2020.

The decision to close is a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which has crippled tourism in the city.

In April, for example, just 1,159 foreign tourists visited Jeju, a drop of 99.2% compared to April 2019, when there were 13,360 foreign visitors (Source: Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Tourism Association).

The closure of Jeju International Airport since 6 April due to the pandemic, has been a major factor in the low tourism numbers.

Lotte Duty Free, which opened its new store on the island in 2015, has experienced difficult operating conditions since February, resulting in shorter trading hours.


Consequently, sales plummeted by 95% in May, compared to the same month the previous year.

A Lotte official said: “We have tried to continue our Jeju business since the outbreak of Covid-19, but the closure of the airport means virtually no passengers are leaving.”

Meanwhile, TRBusiness can confirm fierce rival The Shilla Duty Free (Shilla) will also close its Jeju downtown duty free store from 1 June.

The Shilla Duty Free Jeju Downtown

The Shilla Duty Free Jeju downtown store was also closed for 10 days in April.

As reported, Shilla’s Jeju downtown duty free store resumed operations on 7 February. The store had been shut since 2 February for a period of ‘professional quarantine and disinfection’.

The outlet, which reduced its original operating hours (09:30 to 19:00), to 09:30-18:30 from 7 February and 09:30 to 17:30 from 12 March, was closed on all weekends in April as well as on 15 April (the 21st National Assembly Election Day) and 30 April (the Buddha’s birthday).

Last year, Shilla, which unveiled its new Jeju Airport store on 1 March 2019, expanded the sales area in its Jeju downtown shop by 10% last year. The purpose of the expansion was to increase the number of smaller South Korean cosmetics brands on display and to increase domestic and airport duty free revenue by double-digit figures.


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