Lotte takes over liquor and tobacco concession from DFS at Changi Airport

An artist's impression of a Lotte store at Changi Airport. (Image: Changi Airport Group)

South Korean travel retailer Lotte Duty Free took over DFS Group as the operator of the main liquor and tobacco concession at Singapore’s Changi Airport today (9 June), the airport operator announced.

Lotte, the world’s second largest travel retailer in terms of sales turnover, was awarded the liquor and tobacco concession in October last year, replacing DFS Group from Hong Kong, the Changi Airport Group said in a media release.

DFS, which had operated the concession since 1980, gave it up before the latest tender exercise last year, saying that keeping its Changi Airport concession was not financially viable. The company had been the airport’s biggest and oldest tenant.

DFS continues to operate its luxury retail stores at Changi Airport, the outlet at the Singapore Cruise Centre, and the T Galleria by DFS store at Scotts Road.

Lotte’s current agreement is for a six-year term, covering all 18 liquor and tobacco stores across Changi Airport’s four terminals and spanning more than 8,000 sqm of retail space. 

Renovation works for Lotte’s stores at Changi Airport will take place in phases, beginning in Terminals 1 and 3, once the relevant social distancing restrictions are lifted. Shoppers can look forward to concepts such as a cognac brand boutique, zones dedicated to whiskey, gin and wines, and a high-tech tasting bar, among others. 

As business activities in Singapore gradually restart after the circuit breaker, Lotte will first retail on Changi Airport’s duty-free e-commerce platform, iShopChangi.com, before its physical stores open at a later stage.

To celebrate the start of its operations, Lotte is offering a 7% discount on selected products from 12 June to 30 June, in addition to tax- and duty-absorbed prices, as well as a 5% discount voucher for the next purchase in-store. Singapore residents can shop for selected Lotte’s products on iShopChangi without flying.

Lotte will eventually offer over 3,000 tax- and duty-free wines and spirits. It will offer a wide variety of brands and products from special and limited-edition whiskies and cognacs, exclusive labels at Changi Airport, a collection of Asian spirits highlighting brands from Singapore and South Korea, as well as alcohol-free options to cater to growing demand for non-alcoholic beverages.

Lim Peck Hoon, Changi Airport Group’s Executive Vice President, Commercial, said, “We are excited to welcome Lotte to the Changi family. The world of travel retail is constantly evolving, and with e-commerce growing exponentially in the current climate, we are positive that this new partnership will bring about a transformation to Changi’s core liquor and tobacco concession. Apart from a complete revamp of store designs, passengers can also look forward to an omni-channel experience as we integrate a seamless brick-and-mortar shopping experience with e-commerce.”

Kap Lee, CEO of Lotte Duty Free, said, “The new operations at Changi Airport will be the largest among all of Lotte’s Asia Pacific operations. We look forward to bringing new and exciting brands, activations and experiences to Changi’s shoppers. We are confident that this new relationship will bring us one step closer to our vision to be the global No.1 travel retailer, as we grow together with CAG and the brand partners at Changi.”