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Lotte takes over Changi Airport's duty-free liquor, tobacco stores

CHANGI Airport on Tuesday welcomed South Korean travel retailer Lotte Duty Free as its new key liquor and tobacco concessionaire, replacing longtime tenant DFS Group.

This will be the first time a new operator helms the airport’s duty-free liquor and tobacco stores.

Lotte's chief executive office Kap Lee said that the Singapore stores will be the company’s largest operations in the Asia-Pacific.

In a press statement, Changi Airport Group (CAG) said Lotte is expanding its product line-up progressively, and will eventually offer more than 3,000 wines and spirits that are tax and duty-free.

Renovation works for Lotte’s stores at the airport will take place in phases, starting with those in Terminals 1 and 3, once the country’s “circuit-breaker” restrictions are lifted.

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Lotte will first retail on Changi Airport’s duty-free e-commerce platform, iShopChangi.com, before its physical shops open. To celebrate the start of its operations, Lotte is offering a 7 per cent discount on some products from June 12 to 30, on top of tax and duty-absorbed prices.

Its physical stores’ design concept will feature “innovative in-store technologies” and integrate “elements of nature” inspired by the airport’s gardens, according to CAG.

For instance, there will be a high-tech tasting bar, immersive experience zones dedicated to whisky, gin and wine, as well as a specialised cognac brand boutique.

Said Mr Lee: “We look forward to bringing new and exciting brands, activations and experiences to Changi’s shoppers.”

Lotte’s range of brands and products will include limited-edition whiskies and cognacs, exclusive labels only available at Changi Airport, a collection of Asian spirits highlighting brands from Singapore and South Korea, as well as alcohol-free options.

CAG executive vice-president Lim Peck Hoon said that the new partnership will transform the airport’s core liquor and tobacco concession as the world of travel retail evolves and e-commerce grows exponentially.

“Apart from a complete revamp of store designs, passengers can also look forward to an omnichannel experience as we integrate a seamless brick-and-mortar shopping experience with e-commerce,” Ms Lim added.

The South Korean company is the world’s second-largest travel retailer in terms of sales turnover, CAG said.

CAG awarded the liquor and tobacco concession to Lotte for a six-year term till June 8, 2026, covering all 18 liquor and tobacco stores across the four terminals and spanning more than 8,000 square metres of retail space.

In August 2019, DFS announced it was quitting the duty-free liquor and tobacco business at the airport, and will shutter the stores across all four terminals once its concession expires.

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