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Why not Dubai?—world’s first Louis Vuitton airport store opens in Seoul

Why not Dubai?—world’s first Louis Vuitton airport store opens in Seoul

Luxury brand chose to open in Korean airport because it is 'the best airport in the world'. Watch out Dubai! You've got some competition, warns Precious de Leon.

September 19, 2011 2:16 by

What has Louis Vuitton done?! After years of snubbing airport retail spaces and rejecting several proposals around the world to set up shop in a Duty Free area, Louis Vuitton has opened its first airport store…in Korea.

I know what you’re all thinking: Why is one of the most coveted luxury brands not opening in the UAE? And, why are you not reading a news story about the first Louis Vuitton airport store opening in Dubai Duty Free?

Does LV not know that the UAE loves luxury brands? Does it not know that Dubai has the world’s tallest building, that we have the mall that houses the highest number of luxury brands under one roof (Burjuman claims this spot), and that we have a whopping two 7-star hotels?

It’s close to impossible for LV to not know about the glitz and glamour that is Dubai’s shopping scene. So let’s face it: Louis Vuitton chose Seoul over Dubai.

LV Chairman and CEO Yves Carcelle was quoted as saying that Incheon Airport was selected as the location of its first airport store “because of its world-class facilities and services, especially the fastest procedure for entry and departure.”

Hmph. How fast is that procedure anyway? Passengers in Dubai Airport Terminal 3 must go in and out of the terminal in roughly 30 minutes, no? Yes?

Of course it’s the efficient service. I’m sure there’s no way that it’s because of the recent surge of Chinese and Japanese travelers using the airport. Nor does it have anything to do with Korea being one of LV’s top four markets in the whole world.

According to Korea Herald, Louis Vuitton expects to log an additional $65 million in annual sales just from this 550-sqm store which was opened in partnership with Shilla Duty Free.


It’s not just the potential sales, LV seems to have been lured by preferential treatment from Shilla Duty Free.  For starters Louis Vuitton is only paying up to seven percent of their revenue for rent while other brands have to pay 20 percent.

This of course has not created conflict with existing brands in the airport. Gucci is leaving Shilla for competitor Lotte Duty Free and there are reports that even Chanel is following the same route.

See all the ruckus you’re making LV? If you opened in Dubai, you wouldn’t be making so much ripple effect because, well, there IS only one Duty Free in the city and no real competitors so basically brands have their hands tied. Uhmmm…

But if you’re still not convinced why LV should have opened in the UAE, read through this…


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