SEOUL, Dec. 22 (Korea Bizwire) – Hanwha Galleria, a retail unit of South Korean conglomerate Hanwha, said Tuesday it will partially open its first duty-free store at 63 City Building in downtown Seoul next week.
Hanwha Galleria plans to open 60 percent of the proposed space in the gold-tinted skyscraper in Yeouido, a must-stop destination among Chinese tourists, on Dec. 28 before a full opening in June.
The pre-opening will showcase 369 brands, including cosmetics, watches and jewelry, on four floors, with nearly half of them being Korean brands.
Although Hanwha said it has been working on attracting global luxury brands to the store, it has made little progress.
“Although we want to have (luxury brands) in the stores, they are not yet considering opening new shops, thinking they have enough shops (in South Korea),” Hwang Yong-deuk, CEO of Hanwha Galleria, said during a briefing.
The company said it will continue negotiations to house global brands when Lotte World Tower, a duty-free store by retail giant Lotte, closes its outlet this month after losing its operating license in a recent bid.
Hanwha vowed to step up its bid to expand its duty-free business down the road, adding it is targeting 504 billion won (US$429.6 million) in sales at the new store next year.