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South Korea Travel Retail Market - Growth, Trends, Covid-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • ID: 5458863
  • Report
  • October 2021
  • Region: South Korea
  • 130 Pages
  • Mordor Intelligence
until Dec 31st 2021


  • City Plus Korea
  • Dongwha Duty Free
  • Doota Duty Free
  • Dufry
  • Entas Duty Free
  • Hyundai Duty Free

Korea is one of the world’s largest duty-free markets and its duty-free market benefits from the growth of Korean travelers, as well as increasing numbers of Chinese and Japanese travelers. With a strong downtown retail presence, Korea’s travel retail market is focused on beauty, cosmetics, and fashion products. While increasingly affluent Mainland Chinese travelers have boosted Korea’s duty-free market, Korean nationals are high spenders both overseas and at Korean airports. The Korean duty-free market has unique competitiveness by entering various domestic and global brands represented by 'K-beauty' along with Korea's unique culture and marketing capabilities. There has been an increase in downtown duty-free shops in South Korea. These shops allow travelers to purchase goods at any time during their trip, instead of just before departure. Seoul has a significant number of downtown duty-free stores.

Luxury brands are increasingly important to the Asia-Pacific region’s travel retail market, reflecting the growing affluence of the region’s travelers. This is especially the case in already established duty-free markets such as Korea. For example, the new terminal at Incheon International Airport features the flagship stores of international luxury brands such as Chanel, Dior, Sulwhasoo, Lancome, SK2, and Estee Lauder84. It also includes renowned liquor and tobacco brands such as Ballantyne's, Johnnie Walker, Royal Salute, Hennessy, and KT&G, and IQOS. The sales revenue of duty-free shops in South Korea almost halved between January 2020 and March 2020. Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in the beginning of 2020, the number of visitors to duty free shops in South Korea dropped from around 3.84 million to around 587.8 thousand visitors in the same period.

Key Market Trends

Growing Disposable Income is Driving the Market

South Korea's travel retail market is growing at the fastest rate owing to improvements in living standards, a rise in disposable income, improvement in lifestyle, and development of the tourism industry. Once people have more disposable income, they tend to spend more on travel and retail. Young and urban consumers are seeking out new travel experiences, driving travel and tourism trends along with more targeted services and products. More and more travelers are doing the whole journey digitally, from researching the trip and checking, browsing, and, ultimately, purchasing products. In addition, an upsurge in disposable income has increased the traveler's capacity and affordability to purchase exclusive products. This has created a positive impact on the expansion of the travel retail market in South Korea.

South Korea is one of the World’s Most Exciting Beauty Markets

South Korea is one of the world’s most exciting beauty markets. Appearance and beauty are very important in Korean culture. Hence, there is high demand for beauty products and surgeries that help people attain the right look. New beauty trends and innovations featuring sophisticated ingredients and aesthetically appealing packaging are constantly on display. In retail, South Korean consumers purchase beauty and personal care products not only from online retailers but also via duty-free shops. South Korean beauty consumers are constantly looking for something new and are willing to pay a premium for it. The global beauty brands are choosing South Korea duty-free as their point of entry into the Asian market. Brands such as Helena Rubinstein, Fenty Beauty, and Gucci Beauty chose to launch through duty-free instead of other channels when they entered the South Korean market.

Competitive Landscape

The report covers major international players operating in the South Korea travel retail industry. In terms of market share, few of the major players currently dominate the market. However, with technological advancement and product innovation, mid-size to smaller companies are increasing their market presence by securing new contracts and tapping new markets.

Additional Benefits:

  • The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
  • 3 months of analyst support
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • City Plus Korea
  • Dongwha Duty Free
  • Doota Duty Free
  • Dufry
  • Entas Duty Free
  • Hyundai Duty Free
1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.1 Market Overview
4.2 Market Drivers
4.3 Market Restraints
4.4 Industry Value Chain Analysis
4.5 Porters Five Force Analysis
4.5.1 Threat of New Entrants
4.5.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
4.5.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.5.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.5.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.6 Consumer Behaviour Analysis
4.7 Impact of COVID-19 on the Market
5.1 Product Type
5.1.1 Beauty and Personal Care
5.1.2 Wines and Spirits
5.1.3 Tobacco
5.1.4 Eatables
5.1.5 Fashion Accessories and Hard Luxury
5.1.6 Other Types
5.2 Distribution Channel
5.2.1 Airports
5.2.2 Airlines
5.2.3 Ferries
5.2.4 Other Channels
6.1 Market Concentration Overview
6.2 Company Profiles
6.2.1 Lotte Duty Free
6.2.2 The Shilla Duty Free
6.2.3 Shinsegae Duty Free
6.2.4 Hyundai Duty Free
6.2.5 Dongwha Duty Free
6.2.6 Dufry
6.2.7 Entas Duty Free
6.2.8 City Plus Korea
6.2.9 Doota Duty Free
6.2.10 Hanwha Galleria Time World Duty Free
6.2.11 JDC Duty Free
6.2.12 The Grand Duty Free*
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • Lotte Duty Free
  • The Shilla Duty Free
  • Shinsegae Duty Free
  • Hyundai Duty Free
  • Dongwha Duty Free
  • Dufry
  • Entas Duty Free
  • City Plus Korea
  • Doota Duty Free
  • Hanwha Galleria Time World Duty Free
  • JDC Duty Free
  • The Grand Duty Free
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown