Sales at duty-free shops showed signs of recovery after the drop of Chinese travelers followed by China’s unofficial boycott over the stationing of a U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery here.
According to the Korea Duty-Free Shops Association, duty-free shops saw an increase in sales from foreign travelers, reaching US$656 million in May, up 11 percent from the previous month.
The number of foreign shoppers also slightly increased to 1.02 million from 998,000.
Duty-free stores had seen a steady rise in sales until February with their monthly total sales reaching $883 million, but sales dwindled drastically in March and April amid the THAAD spat.
“Despite some recovery in sales it will take two or three more months to fully recover to the previous level, meaning that the slowdown may continue until the end of this year”, a market insider said.