DFS Group Limited, the world’s leading retailer to the international traveler, announced that it has been awarded one of the three available major duty-free concessions at Seoul’s new Inchon International Airport, which is scheduled to open in mid-2001.

Under terms of the five-year concession, DFS will have the right to operate seven duty/tax free shops in the West Wing of the new international terminal. These shops will occupy a total of 1,692 square meters and will offer a variety of merchandise including perfumes and cosmetics, jewelry, watches, lighters, pens, stationery, briefcases, sunglasses, crystal, china, silver, imported packaged foods, leather goods, fashion accessories, souvenirs, and convenience products.

DFS is the first non-Korean company to win the right to operate a duty/tax free concession without a local partner. Under terms of the bidding process, no company could be awarded more than one of the three available duty/tax free concessions. A fourth concession, primarily for liquor & tobacco and other products in the West Central area, has already been awarded to the state-operated Korea National Tourism Organization.

“We are very pleased to have won this major concession, which enables DFS to play a meaningful role at an important new international airport located in the heart of our principal market,” said Edward Brennan, President and Chief Executive Officer of DFS Group. “We are committed to having a significant long-term presence in Korea, which we believe has a bright future as a major economic force in the Asia-Pacific region. We will continue to explore additional opportunities for growth there.”

When it opens in 2001, the new Inchon airport will handle all international flights in and out of Seoul. The airport is expected to receive more than 3 million in-bound travelers annually, including 1.7 million visits from Japanese travelers. Korea is the single largest outbound destination for Japanese travelers. The airport is also expected to handle nearly 4 million outbound Korean travelers annually, with outbound traffic estimated to grow by more than 10% each year.

“As our successful bid at Inchon indicates, we will continue to pursue airport concessions at strategically important international gateways when we can do so on a profitable basis,” Mr. Brennan said.

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By GlobalData

The Inchon concession is the latest of several significant long-term airport concessions recently awarded to DFS Group. In the past year, DFS has won a five-year extension of its existing concession at San Francisco International Airport and a new concession for the new international terminal (Terminal Four) at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Based in San Francisco, DFS Group Limited is majority-owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the Paris-based luxury products group. A part of LVMH’s Selective Distribution Group, DFS operates more than 150 duty free and general merchandise stores throughout Asia, the Pacific Rim, and North America.