Hotel Shilla, Shinsegae DF and Hyundai Department Store Duty Free were shortlisted for duty-free licensing at Incheon International Airport, the airport operator said Friday.
Incheon International Airport Corp. announced the result of the first round of assessment of bids for the five duty-free zones at the nation's main airport, located west of Seoul.
The three domestic retail giants were selected as final candidates, while two other bidders, Lotte Duty Free and China Duty Free Group Co. (CDFG), lost out.
The airport offers five duty-free zones, DF 1-5, to be divided among the three bidders.
Shinsegae and Shilla will compete for DF 1 and 2, which sell perfume, cosmetics, liquor and cigarettes. They will also vie for DF 3 and 4, which handle fashion and boutiques.
Shinsegae, Hyundai and Shilla will compete for DF 5, which deals with boutiques.
The Korea Customs Service will select the final winners next month. The license will be valid for up to 10 years, starting July.
Market observers said Lotte, a longtime leader in the country's duty-free industry, may have lost out from the bid because it withdrew most of its operation from the airport in 2018, citing exorbitant rent.
CDFG, the world's largest duty-free chain, may have dropped out due to a low bidding price, they said. (Yonhap)