[Photo provided by Lotte Duty Free]
South Korea’s travel retail giant Lotte Duty Free challenges Thai duty-free monopoly King Power International for an opening in tax-free location at the Bangkok gateway.
Lotte Duty Free said on Thursday it handed in its bid for the duty-free concession at Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport in consortium with Bangkok Airways.
Swiss-based travel retail leader Dufry joined up with Thailand’s Royal Orchid Sheraton to steal the location from incumbent King Power International whose contract for the airport is set to expire in 2020.
A three-way battle is expected for the tender that was open to foreign entities for the first time since the opening of the country’s first gateway used by 38 million visitors per year. The number of tourists to Thailand grows by 5 to 7 percent each year.
Lotte Duty Free`s a downtown store in Bangkok
The bidding results will be announced on May 31. Thailand’s travel retail business is monopolized by homegrown brand King Power, which now runs 10 duty free shops covering downtown districts and airports. King Power ranks seventh in the world travel retail industry with about $2.26 billion in sales.
Lotte Duty Free opened a downtown store in Bangkok in 2017 but it has been unable to sell imported products duty free because it has failed to obtain pick-up rights at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
By Lee Yoo-jin and Minu Kim
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]