Louis Vuitton had taken its time in deciding to have a dedicated boutique in airport retail. The Shilla Duty Free at Incheon International Airport, Seoul finally convinced the most coveted brand to be part of travel retail. And like everything else they do, their upcoming store at the South Korean airport would be the largest single brand boutique in an airport anywhere in the world. There projected first year sale is expected to be in the region of $100 million. The Vuitton store that will be part of the luxury retail in Incheon’s central departures area would be spread over 550 square meters.
This space was reportedly created especially for the luxury brand and that’s why Korea’s biggest duty free operator, Lotte Duty Free has gone to court to stop the arrangement. Incheon International Airport Corp (IIAC) was very keen to bring the brand to the airport as it would result in an increased Chinese traffic to Incheon. Sang-Ho Lee believes that it will give them an edge compared to the other airports in the region. With more passengers coming for the Vuitton Store, the trickledown effect will help the sales of other stores in the airport retail area.
Louis Vuitton already has a strong presence in the Seoul’s downtown duty free business in association with Lotte. In fact that’s the reason why Lotte is objecting to the way space previously used for public seating was vacated to make way for the Vuitton store and still the project was handed over to Shilla Duty Free without any tender. Jason Cha, the head of Shilla Duty Free explained that it was the decision to allot the large space finally convinced Louis Vuitton to register its first presence in travel retail. They were in a position to provide space in their current retail area which already has boutiques by Hermes and Chanel. It was IIAC that decided to create the new space and they stuck to their part of the deal by delivering the prestigious brand.