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NEWS 2022.01.03

Lee Kap of Lotte Duty Free Cites "Stockdale Paradox" for Object Decisions and Challenges to Risks

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- CEO Lee Kap, born in 1962 (Year of the Tiger), states that current crisis indicates time for change to prepare for future

"We have the DNA of success, having overcome many difficulties and crises in the past. We must work together to overcome this wisely."

On Jan. 3, 2022, CEO Lee Kap of Lotte Duty Free emphasized object decisions and challenges regarding the crisis in his New Year's speech for 2022, the Year of the Tiger. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, he delivered a message of facing reality rather than relying on vague hopes and working together with executives and employees alike to overcome the pandemic.

CEO Lee Kap first thanked the executives and employees, who accomplished much over the past year through their endless spirit of challenge despite the difficulties. Lotte Duty Free created new business models in the rapidly changing duty-free industry, such as holding the world's first online luxury goods store, Sogong 1st Ave., operating the first ever non-landing tourism flights in the industry and launching LDF BUY, an overseas online mall that is directly sourced.

In addition, Lotte Duty Free indicated its concerns that 2022 might also be a difficult year for the industry when the COVID-19 pandemic showed signs of lengthening with the emergence of the Omicron variant. CEO Lee Kap cited the Stockdale Paradox, calling for thorough objective decisions and preparation for the future. The Stockdale Paradox is a term derived from an anecdote in which James Stockdale, a U.S. Navy vice admiral who had been held captive during the Vietnam War for eight years. Acknowledging that he would not be able to escape, he came to terms with his situation and focused on the present, managing to survive in the end. It refers to reasonable optimism focusing on reality and implementing clear goals, rather than focusing on vague hopes.

CEO Lee Kap stated, "The COVID-19 pandemic is not a simple social change caused by an infectious disease, but requires various fundamental changes to the overall industrial structure. We must accept the current crisis to seek change and give sincere thoughts about how Lotte Duty Free will change in the next five or ten years in preparation for the future." He also stated, "If we understand the big changes and take on timely challenges, we will be much closer to our goal of being the most trusted travel partner."

He also added, "We were able to become a global duty-free brand due to the efforts of many individuals over the past 40 years. Overcoming this pandemic depends on how each and every individual decides to work every day," encouraging all executives and employees to continue doing their best in their given tasks.

CEO Lee Kap was born in 1962, which is the Year of the Tiger. He suggested that everyone all work together with "tiger energy," promising to visit on site frequently this year as he concluded his address.