The duty-free units of Lotte Group and Hotel Shilla Co. have won licenses for the new duty-free stores at the new Incheon airport terminal due to open later in the year, the customs authority said Saturday.
Lotte Duty Free and Shilla Duty Free tendered their preliminary bids late last month for two sections of Incheon International Airport terminal (T2), slated to start operation in October, and they were shortlisted by the Incheon International Airport Corp. last week.
Due to an amendment in the bidding procedure, duty-free operators need approval from both the airport and customs authorities to secure licensing for an airport duty-free store, which is subject to renewal every five years.
The Korea Customs Service, which is authorized to give final permission, confirmed in a press release that Lotte Duty Free and Shilla Duty Free have been selected as multiple winners for the T2 terminal stores.
Lotte has been designated to run a liquor-and-cigarettes section, while Shilla has won a fragrance-and-cosmetics section.
While details on the prices were undisclosed, bidders apparently offered a total of some 205.3 billion won (US$180.8 million) for the new duty-free operations, according to officials familiar with the matter.
The thwarted fashion and accessories slot will be put up for another bidding, possibly at a 10 percent lower price, the airport operator said.
None of the contenders handed in a bid for that section, as jitters from a rapid decline in Chinese tourists following Beijing's ban on trip sales to Korea dampened their appetite for fresh investment.
Shinsegae DF and Hanwha Galleria, two other candidates that lost the preliminary bids, are unclear if they will take part in the second tender. Both companies declined to comment. (Yonhap)