No bids were placed for the fashion and accessories duty-free area in the second terminal at Incheon Airport, officials said on April 6.
A spokesman for the airport corporation said the result was “unexpected” and the airport was currently “reviewing plans for another tender.”
The fashion and accessories area was one of three licenses open to bids from large companies at the second terminal. Four companies, including Lotte Duty Free, Shilla Duty Free, Shinsegae DF and Hanwha, placed bids on the other two areas on April 5. The two areas include one for cosmetics and perfumes and another for liquor and tobacco.
A spokesman for one of the companies said the fashion and accessories license, which includes operations of luxury brands, would have put more pressure on the operating company to recruit brands.
“It is difficult to convince luxury brands to open new stores, and even if they do, the contract conditions often create more financial burdens for operators,” he said.
Other industry officials said that although the operators were interested in the fashion license, they decided not to bid because they did not want to reveal how much they were willing to pay in case they were the only ones submitting a tender.
Lotte Duty Free, Shinsegae DF and Shilla Duty Free had expressed intent on April 4 to bid on the fashion license, but did not submit official bids. Hanwha Galleria declined to comment.
Three companies, including SM Duty Free, Entas and Cityplus, are vying for the three licenses reserved for small and medium-sized enterprises.
By Won Ho-jung/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org