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South Korea’s national carrier Korean Air continues to acheive remarkable milestones for its inflight retail business.
Last year sales rose by nearly +18% to over US$200 million and Vice President Heather Cho is projecting strong single-digit growth again this year, despite the weakening Korean Won.
I took lunch with Heather Cho and her Inflight Sales Team General Manager Jung-Guk Jeung this week in Seoul (pictured below left), together with Won Kim (right), the dynamic independent agent who runs Brandepot and handles Inniskillin in South Korean duty free – an amazing success story onboard Korean Air where it outsells many of the world’s leading spirits brands (Won Kim will be profiled in our forthcoming May Digital Print Edition).
To keep setting new records, Heather believes innovation must be a constant factor. Here’s an executive who simply refuses to sit on her laurels, with the result that Korean Air’s sales keep blooming like the beautiful azaleas that have burst to life throughout Seoul this month.
Last month she unveiled a ‘Collectors’ Edition’ of the airline’s Skyshop onboard duty free magazine. It features an image of a new Folli Follie watch with real Swarovski crystals embedded on it. And the magazine itself (published monthly) features some eight pages of new products, including a 1948 Chabot Armagnac retailing for US$1,500. “We’ve already sold 16,” Heather told me over lunch near to Korean Air’s offices by Gimpo Airport.
But there’s another innovation coming, imminently, which is a real first for the inflight retail sector. The Moodie Report is delighted to have been chosen to tell the story. But we can’t tell it just yet. Watch this (inflight) space…