SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — The new passenger terminal at Incheon International Airport, which officially began operations Thursday, has been lauded for it high-tech, user-friendly facilities and fine collection of artworks on display, while also catering to the more everyday demands of travelers who want to shop and enjoy good food.
The country’s big three duty-free shop operators — Lotte, Shilla and Shinsegae — all have stores at the new terminal. They don’t directly compete, since each is pitching a different line of products.
Lotte is hosting some 130 brands of alcohol, tobacco and packaged foods at its 1,407-square meter store.
The main selling point for the conglomerate is the sectionalized boutique-style arrangement of six global brands like Ballantine and Royal Salute, the first such attempt in the local industry. A bar for each brand will offer tasting opportunities.
Lotte will also be the first to sell heat-not-burn cigarettes at a South Korean airport. It has set up a smoking room in its tobacco section.
Shilla’s business at the new terminal is cosmetics and fragrances. Its 2,105-square-meter store features more than 110 brands, and like Lotte, it offers boutiques for six popular brands with store sizes roughly three times bigger than those at other local airports.
These brand stores have distinct interior designs to give customers a special experience. There are also seven counters for shoppers to try new products.
Shinsegae’s 4,300-square-meter store sells fashion wear and accessories. The store offers about 170 labels, including Chanel, which is returning to Incheon airport after pulling out in March 2015. Valentino is among the brands exclusive to the domestic airport’s duty-free shops.
The terminal has duty-free stores run by smaller companies as well.
For travelers who want to enjoy good food, the restaurant section of the terminal features considerable variety. Premium burger chain Shake Shack opened its sixth store in the country at Incheon airport, the largest in size among its stores at airports around the world with 105 seats. Other familiar names like Paris Baguette, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin Donuts and Jamba Juice also have a presence in the terminal.
The Paris Baguette store on the first floor chose to work with a floral shop to make the store a “flower cafe.” The chain’s store on the third floor, along with Coffee@Works, was modified as a garden in collaboration with the Dutch architecture firm UNStudio.
Restaurants in the duty-free shopping zone offer Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese foods, as well as sandwiches from the U.S. chain Quiznos. The zone also has casual dining like menu items from a popular food truck.
The underground level is lined with South Korean eateries, and a snack food store there will be open around the clock.
For travelers wanting a more luxurious dining experience, two Michelin-starred South Korean chef Yim Jung-sik will serve “naengmyun,” Pyongyang-style cold noodles, and “gomtang,” beef bone soup, at his restaurant Pyungwhaok.