Struggling Duty-Free Shops Shift Towards Experiential Marketing

The duty-free shop industry is still struggling with challenges despite some recovery in sales.

Sales at Shinsegae Duty-Free Busan branch increased by 56% from January to March compared to last year but remained 47% lower than pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Lotte Duty-Free Busan branch reported similar trends, with sales up by 44% year-on-year but down by 40% compared to 2019.

The Korea Duty-Free Shop Association reported a 16.1% decrease in domestic duty-free store sales in February compared to the previous year, attributed to a significant drop in sales from foreign tourists despite an increase in their numbers.

To combat the downturn, duty-free shops are turning to experiential marketing strategies, such as collaborations with characters and idols.

Shinsegae Duty-Free introduced a pop-up store featuring its character ‘Bunny’ and fashion brand ‘Off-White’ and plans to host events with the new boy group ‘TWS’.

Lotte Duty-Free focuses on promotions for individual foreign tourists and is targeting domestic customers with products from its online direct purchase mall, ‘Ginza Japan Direct Purchase’, procured directly from the Lotte Duty-Free Tokyo Ginza branch.

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Haps Staff
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