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South Korean duty-free stores cut hours as travel-retail dries up

South Korean duty-free stores are electing to temporarily close for business as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

With the continued idling of airport gateways the industry has been hit particularly severely, with operators making tough decisions on opening hours that usually run 24/7/365.

Shilla Duty Free will shutter its store on the popular Jeju Island on weekends and holidays for the month, while Shinsegae Duty Free closed yet its fifth outlet out of 19 stores at Incheon International Airport. Shinsegae has also agreed with the airport to stop midnight sales at the remaining stores in operation.

Lotte Duty Free and Shilla have also reduced hours at their Incheon Terminal 2 stores, closing at 9.30 pm. Shilla is also expected to shutter its Yongsan downtown store in Seoul.

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