PARIS – Irish tax-refund specialist Fintrax has formed a joint venture with South Korean firm Lotte Group’s Lotte Data Communications Corp. in a drive to boost tax-free shopping in South Korea.
The new company will jointly become shareholders in CubeRefund, an existing refund operator in South Korea, with the aim of becoming the market-leading VAT refund company there.
The partnership will contribute to helping Lotte Group, one of South Korea’s biggest retailers, to boost its sales by increasing footfall from overseas visitors to its duty-free shops, department stores and other outlets in the mid to long term.
South Korea’s tax refund market has grown almost tenfold since 2010, the partners stated, and is expected to see sales this year of around KRW 413 billion, or $361.5 million at current exchange. Tax-free shopping is part of the South Korean government’s drive to attract more Chinese and other international tourists to the country.
CubeRefund, which will now trade under Fintrax’s Premier Tax Free banner, is recognized for its use of innovative technology, Fintrax and Lotte said.
Fintrax, owned by Eurazeo Capital, specializes in tax refunds, multi-currency payments, credit-card processing and point-of-sale technology. It serves more than 150,000 retail outlets worldwide, including stores for brands such as Dior, Gucci, Polo Ralph Lauren and Dolce & Gabbana.