Duty-Free Luxury Fire Sale Draws Huge Crowds

  • By Han Kyeong-jin

    June 04, 2020 13:41

    Duty-free operators have been allowed to offer their products through normal retail channels in a bid to help them weather at least some of the losses from deserted airports and a dearth of international travelers.

    Shinsegae International on Wednesday unloaded its stockpiles of duty-free luxury products on its online shopping site and most of them sold out less than four hours.

    It offered handbags and leather accessories by Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and Valentino at 10 to 50 percent discounts. A Bottega Veneta clutch bag cost W1.06 million and a Balenciaga tote bag W1.33 million (US$1=W1,218).

    People wait in line to buy a limited edition of luxury sneakers in front of a department store in Seoul on Wednesday.

    Due to the overwhelming interest, the S.I. Village website crashed. Shinsegae said some 15,000 people tried to access the website simultaneously when the sale started at 10 a.m., causing the server to overload. "We didn't expect such a large number of people," a spokesman said.

    But by 2 p.m., around 90 percent of the products had been sold nonetheless.

    Lotte plans to unload its inventory on June 26 at both outlets and some department store branches. Shilla will do the same both online and offline as early as the end of this month.

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