Lotte Duty Free has suspended sales of liquid flavoured electronics cigarettes in South Korea and overseas, effective today (28 October 2019).
The decision to stop selling brands such as Juul Labs (which has halted online sales of its flavoured e-cigarettes), Lil Vapor and Viento was taken on recommendation of the South Korean government following a briefing last week in South Korea.
This follows a surge in US vaping illness deaths and the looming ban on flavoured e-cigarettes, which is reportedly being readied by the Trump administration.
American retailer Walmart has already stopped selling e-cigarettes and several other US retailers have revealed plans to restrict the sale of flavoured vaping products amid a teen vaping epidemic.
A Lotte Duty Free spokesperson told TRBusiness: “Today, we have decided not to obtain any more flavoured liquid e-cigarettes. Regarding those we already have in stock, we will decide when to stop selling them altogether.”
CONTINUING SALES DROP
According to the spokesperson, sales of liquid flavoured electronic cigarettes were satisfactory until August 2019, but are continuing to drop amid multiple reports of vaping deaths in the US.
“For now, we are just talking about the flavoured electronic cigarettes. We have not discussed the possible discontinuation of other normal electronic cigarettes.”
In other more positive Lotte news, the retailer has today announced the planned introduction of Alipay’s facial recognition technology (Smile to Pay) in 10 downtown duty free stores in Seoul. The first store to adopt the new technology, which has been implemented in 300 Chinese cities was the Sulwhasoo shop at Lotte’s Myeongdong headquarters.
According to Lotte, this is the first time Smile to Pay technology has been implemented in South Korea. To celebrate its introduction, Lotte will award KRW10,000 of Lotte Duty Free Pay credit to customers completing purchases with Smile to Pay by 19 November 2019.
An event commemorating the launch will also take place, where customers can receive RMB50 when paying more than RMB1,200 through Alipay, which accounts for 54% of the Chinese mobile payment market at Lotte Duty Free outlets.
Asia & Pacific,
Asia & Pacific,