The South Korean government is considering removing some regulations with regard to arrival duty-free shops. The regulations include mandatory sealing of perfumes and cosmetics. The consideration is because the shops’ sales are showing no signs of improvement.
The arrival duty-free shops opened in the first and second terminals of the Incheon International Airport on May 31 this year. Their monthly sales stood at 5.3 billion won in June, 4.1 billion won in July, 4.7 billion won in August and 4.3 billion won in September. Estimates before the opening were approximately eight billion won.
At present, liquor and cosmetics account for 57 percent and 15 percent of the sales, respectively. In September, the combined perfume sales of downtown and departure duty-free shops were 567.6 billion won but those of the arrival duty-free shops in the two terminals were 200 million won and 100 million won, respectively.
The sluggish sales performance is because, for example, tobacco cannot be sold there and perfumes must be sealed for sniffer dog protection. The arrival duty-free shops are for the convenience of outbound tourists and their consumption in South Korea instead of abroad. However, the shops are failing to meet the purposes.