More options on perfume, say S. Korea sources

By Luke Barras-hill |

South Korean travel retail stakeholders have reacted favourably after the government hiked the duty free allowance on perfume for overseas travellers from 60ml to 100ml.

The new volume limit kicked in on 1 January 2024, superseding a 60ml in place for more than four decades, following an announcement last week (27 December) seen by this publication from The Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The revision to the regulations are expected to improve convenience for travellers while recognising demand for a higher tax exemption ceiling and simultaneously opening up more choice for consumers who can now avail of larger-sized products at competitive prices.

Lotte to strengthen ranging

“In the Korean duty free industry market, it is expected to help boost sales of perfumes,” a Lotte Duty Free spokesperson told TRBusiness.

“Niche perfumes are becoming more popular among young people, and customers are likely to have more options. To reflect this, Lotte Duty Free will continue to strengthen its perfume brands and products.”

One Korea duty free source added: “The increase of volume to 100ml will enable both travellers and duty free operators more choices when purchasing and marketing [respectively]. Marketing wise, a duty free company can make a 50ml + 50ml, or 3x 30ml etc. Especially recently, Gen Z’s perfume usage has increased and duty free companies are making perfume boutiques comprised of popular niche brands.

Lotte Duty Free’s beauty concession at Seoul Gimpo Airport enjoyed a full re-opening in 2023.

“Korea didn’t have the perfume preference compared to other regions, now it is getting more popular for small luxury and self-gifting [purchases].”

In a statement yesterday (4 January) outlining its economic policy directions this year, South Korea’s economic and finance ministry plans to accelerate the country’s consumption via several economic and monetary instruments.

These include promoting inbound tourism by improving visa systems and enhancing convenience for foreign visitors, including via duty free shopping.

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