Business Wire

Korea Duty Free Market Analysis Report 2023-2029: Top Five Players Dominate with Almost 90% Market Share –

4 Mins read

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Korea Duty Free Market: Analysis By Product Category, By Nationality, By Sales Channel, Size and Trends with Impact of COVID-19 and Forecast up to 2029” report has been added to’s offering.

Korea duty free market value in 2023 stood at US$ 18.43 billion, and is likely to reach US$ 26.13 billion by 2029. The Korea duty free market value is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.21%, during the forecast period of 2024-2029.

Korea duty free market is a competitive and concentrated industry with the top five players controlling almost 90% of the overall market. This diverse landscape leads to a dynamic market environment that addresses the growing demand for duty free products. The key players are constantly investing in strategic initiatives, such as adoption of new technologies, introducing their services to emerging markets and more, to maintain a competitive edge in this market.

One of the primary objectives driving the growth of duty-free sales is the cost savings for consumers. The duty-free market in Korea is a significant sector within the country’s retail industry, catering to both domestic consumers and international travelers. The Korean duty-free market showcases unique competitiveness by offering a wide range of domestic and global brands, including ‘K-beauty’ products and Korea’s distinct culture.

One of the prominent factors driving the rise in Korea duty free market demand include increase in international travel and tourism. The steady growth of the duty-free retailing market in recent years has been primarily driven by an increase in international travel and tourism, attracting visitors from countries like China, Japan, and Southeast Asia to Korea for its vibrant culture, tourist attractions, and duty-free shopping opportunities.

Additionally, competitive pricing strategies and tax-free benefits have also made duty-free shopping an attractive proposition for travelers, further boosting sales in the Korea duty-free market. Furthermore, the Korea duty free market is predicted to grow due to continued emphasis on digital transformation, personalization and data analytics, sustainability, rise of social media and growing awareness about K-beauty and food products.

Market Segmentation Analysis:

Cosmetics acquired majority of share in the market in 2023 due to rising popularity of K-beauty, and diverse product offerings. Moreover, tourists, particularly from China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, are drawn to Korea for its vibrant culture and beauty trends. The appeal of Korean cosmetics, known for their high quality and effectiveness, drives tourists to purchase these products in duty-free shops, boosting the demand for cosmetics in the market.

While, alcohol segment is the fastest growing segment because of Korea’s deep-rooted cultural appreciation for alcohol, including traditional liquors like Soju and a growing interest in Western spirits. Additionally, the allure of premium and luxury alcohol brands attracts consumers seeking exclusivity and quality. Government initiatives, such as increased duty-free allowances and streamlined visa processes, further bolster duty-free shopping, including alcohol purchases.

Chinese buyers acquired majority of share in the market in 2023, as China is geographically close to Korea and has a large population of affluent travelers who frequently visit duty-free shops. Secondly, Korean beauty and fashion products are highly coveted among Chinese consumers due to their perceived quality and trendiness. This demand drives Chinese tourists to purchase these goods in bulk at duty-free stores, taking advantage of tax-free prices. Furthermore, favorable government policies, such as visa relaxations and increased duty-free allowances for Chinese tourists, encourage travel and shopping in Korea.

Downtown segment acquired majority of share in the market in 2023 due to their prime locations in high-traffic urban areas like Myeongdong, offering convenience to both local and international shoppers. They boast a diverse range of products, including luxury brands and cosmetics, appealing to a broad customer base. Leveraging effective marketing strategies and the allure of tax-free prices, downtown stores attract and retain customers, solidifying their dominance in the Korea duty-free market.

Impact Analysis of COVID-19 and Way Forward:

The COVID-19 pandemic has had negative impact on the Korea duty free market, leading to temporary closures, reduced foot traffic, and shifts in demand. Duty free stores experienced a sharp decline in sales in 2020 due to a fall in tourists. Luxury goods were the most popular categories, but the pandemic led to increased duty-free inventories, causing losses for many duty-free stores.

Duty-free sales in Korea have seen a rise in overall travel, indicating potential growth post-COVID. The industry has seen a significant increase in commission payments from travel agencies and guides, with travel agency commissions increasing from 30% in 2019 to almost 40% after the pandemic. China’s duty-free sector is projected to experience significant growth directly impacting the Korea duty-free market. International travelers are increasingly open to e-commerce and focusing on zero-waste production and sustainable consumption practices, which could enhance the Korea duty-free market post-COVID.

Market Dynamics

Growth Drivers

  • Growing Daigou Market
  • Rising Disposable Income
  • Broader Product Selection, Especially in Beauty
  • Capturing Chinese Demand
  • Government Support
  • Rising Demand for Luxury Goods


  • Regulatory Changes
  • Currency Fluctuations

Market Trends

  • Digital Transformation
  • Partnerships and Collaborations
  • Focus on Sustainability
  • Emerging Segments
  • Metaverse Integration

Competitive Landscape

  • Shinsegae
  • Hotel Shilla
  • Hyundai Department Store
  • Lotte Corporation (Lotte Duty Free)
  • DongHwa Duty Free
  • City Duty Free
  • Kyung bok kung Duty Free
  • FANFAN Duty Free
  • Shilla IPark Duty Free Store (HDC Shilla)

For more information about this report visit

About is the world’s leading source for international market research reports and market data. We provide you with the latest data on international and regional markets, key industries, the top companies, new products and the latest trends.


Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager

For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470

For U.S./ CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630

For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900