Shilla DF relishing the chance to push online and overseas businesses in 2020

By Luke Barras-hill |

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Beauty&You at Hong Kong Airport.

The Shilla Duty Free is looking to exploit DF&TR revenue opportunities online and abroad this year as market competition heats up.

Speaking to TRBusiness as part of the annual Global Industry Survey, available in the January edition, The Shilla Duty Free Executive Vice President – Korea Division Taeho Kim said improving the South Korean travel retailer’s online platform was chief among its priorities.

“Travel retail operators will try to reinforce differentiated services for millennials who are very mobile friendly,” commented Kim. “The Shilla Duty Free has developed innovative services such as Shilla Tipping, Shilla Pay, and Shilla Trip, which have gained popularity.”

The company, ranked third in the TRBusiness Top 10 Operators 2019 ranking with global DF&TR sales of $5.3bn, is looking forward to seeing its overseas business units flourish at the likes of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), Macau International Airport and Singapore Changi Airport.

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Taeho Kim, Executive Vice President – Korea Division, The Shilla Duty Free.

TRAPPING ‘FUNSUMER’ SPENDING

The opening of six new perfume & cosmetics outlet under its Beauty&You fascia at HKIA has helped reinforce its foreign presence, with total sales from overseas operations now in excess of $1bn.

“Although Korean travel retail industry competition was very severe in 2019, The Shilla Duty Free recorded the best revenue and profit thanks to agile movements,” explained Kim.

“2020 will be a lot more competitive because there are several important events, such as bids for Incheon International Airport duty free concessions and new business operators.”

Intensified competition will come from, among others, main rival Lotte Duty Free after it edged out Shilla to secure the six-year L&T contract at Singapore Changi in a competitive tender last year following the withdrawal of DFS.

“Identifying fast-moving trends and accurate customer targeting are the challenges,” said Kim. “Each operator needs to develop their differentiated service to survive the competition.

“Various activities will be expanded to provide a ‘fun’ experience to customers and to attract the ‘funsumer’.”

Click here to read the full interview. To access the Global Industry Survey in full, subscribe to TRBusiness here.

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