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T2’s smart duty-free is all about luxury

Boutique shops and virtual reality will enhance experience
Jan 13,2018
Shilla Duty Free will sell cosmetics and perfume from 110 brands at the new terminal. [SHILLA DUTY FREE]
Lotte Duty Free will set up boutique-style shops for selected liquor and tobacco brands at the new terminal including Johnnie Walker and Hennessy. [LOTTE DUTY FREE]
Duty-free store operators in Korea have upped the ante in the new Terminal 2 at Incheon International Airport, bringing in top brands and the latest technology to offer a high-end shopping experience to the increasing number of global travelers.

The new terminal held its grand opening on Friday. Lotte, Shilla and Shinsegae will open their duty-free shops on Jan. 18, the date that operation officially begins at the terminal.

Lotte Duty Free, Korea’s No. 1 duty-free store operator, will handle the liquor and tobacco corner.

The operator has allotted part of its 1,407-square-meter (15,144-square-foot) space to be used as boutique-style stores for selected brands so that visitors can receive more devoted care from the staff and also try out certain products more easily.

A total of six brands - Ballantine’s, Royal Salute, Hennessy, Johnnie Walker, KT&G’s Lil and Philip Morris’ Iqos - have received their own space in the shop.

“The boutique-style shops for tobacco and liquor were only found in selected airports such as those in Dubai, Hong Kong and Amsterdam,” said a spokesperson at Lotte Duty Free. “This is the first time such a format has been implemented in Korea at the duty free store,” the spokesperson added.

Lotte Duty Free has also brought in some exclusive liquor products. The Terminal 2 outlet will be the only duty-free store in Korea to sell Hennessy Edition Particuliere and Royal Salute 30 Years Old Flask Edition.

Shilla Duty Free will use its 2,105-square-meter space to focus on cosmetics and perfume, offering 110 brands.

In line with Terminal 2’s smart airport theme, Shilla Duty Free has adopted the latest technology to enhance the shopping experience at six top brands - Chanel, Lancome, Dior, Estee Lauder, SK-II, and Sulwhasoo.

Lancome, for example, will install a virtual makeup mirror in their shop to enable visitors to virtually put on make-up. Estee Lauder has installed an engraving machine to engrave words or phrases onto cosmetics products. Chanel’s booth has a VR installation so that visitors can experience new products without the hassle of taking off their makeup.

“Shilla Duty Free has been set up to be more than just a shopping venue,” Shilla Duty Free said in a statement. “It is an experience-oriented duty-free shop,” it added.

Shinsegae Duty Free, taking up the most space with 4,300-square-meters, is dedicated to fashion and accessories.

Shinsegae Duty Free has already had some success in Terminal 2, managing to persuade Chanel to return to Incheon International Airport. In 2015 the French luxury brand pulled out due to conflict over commission fees and the management system.

The Chanel store, which is expected to sell clothes, accessories and bags, will be part of the so-called “high boutique street,” which will be lined with global luxury brands including Gucci and Tiffany. Shinsegae Duty Free has also brought in Rimowa and Valentino, the first time either company has opened a duty-free store in Korea.

Terminal 2 will officially open on Jan. 18 for passengers flying with Korean Air, Air France, KLM and Delta Air Lines.

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]