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Lotte Duty Free withdraws from Jakarta airport

Aug. 1, 2017 - 11:58 By Catherine Chung
Lotte Duty Free, South Korea's top duty-free operator, said Tuesday it has pulled out of an airport in the capital city of Indonesia last month, after an unsuccessful bid to extend the contract.

Lotte's duty-free store in Jakarta International Airport closed Monday after its contract expired, the company said. Opened in January 2012, it was the firm's first overseas store. The closure comes at a time when local duty-free stores are struggling to cope with the diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing that have impacted sales.

"We took part in the tender after our contract expired, but a local company won the bid," a Lotte official said. "We will focus on our other foreign stores, including the one in downtown Jakarta, and continue to push for overseas expansion." 

This file photo provided by Lotte Duty Free, South Korea`s top duty-free operator, on Jan. 31, 2012, shows the opening ceremony of its first overseas shop at Jakarta International Airport in Indonesia on the same day. (Yonhap)

Lotte currently operates six duty-free stores abroad including ones in Japan, Vietnam and Thailand.

South Korean duty-free operators, meanwhile, are taking the brunt of a steep drop in the number of tourists after Beijing banned the country's travel agencies from selling Korea-bound package tours beginning mid-March in apparent retaliation over the deployment of a US missile defense system here.

The number of Chinese tourists in South Korea more than halved last month on-year, marking a decline for four straight months. (Yonhap)