SEOUL - Lotte Duty Free, world's third largest duty free store operator, lost a duty free store licence in downtown Seoul to a rival bidder on Saturday.
Doosan Co Ltd and Shinsegae Co Ltd won the license previously held by Lotte and another license previously operated by SK Networks, South Korea's customs agency Korea Customs Service said in a statement.
The store, Lotte Duty Free's relocated store in Lotte World Tower & Mall complex, the country's tallest skyscraper, is popular with tourists visiting Korea from China and elsewhere. It reported some 482 billion won (US$412.06 million) in sales in 2014, as the third-largest duty free store in downtown Seoul.
Lotte Duty Free reported about 4.2 trillion won in sales in 2014, according to a spokesman.
Lotte Duty Free is a part of Hotel Lotte Co Ltd, an ownership company in South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate Lotte Group which is preparing for an initial public offering.
A Lotte spokesman, a Shinsegae spokesman and a Doosan spokeswoman could not be immediately reached for comment.