(Source: Inside Retail Asia | 14 February 2017)
Williams-Sonoma South Korea will launch in Spring after the US homewares brand appointed a local partner.
Hyundai Livart Furniture, a leading Korean furniture manufacturer and distributor and an affiliate of Hyundai Department Store Group, will have exclusive rights to operate stores, shop-in-shops, and eCommerce sites for Williams Sonoma and sister brands Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm.
Livart will open more than 30 stores in South Korea over the next decade across the four brands, the first of which are scheduled to open this spring, including a combined 924sqm Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids store and a 700sqm West Elm store at the Hyundai City Mall Garden Five Mall, and a 297sqm Williams Sonoma store at Hyundai Department Store Mokdong.
“We are pleased to announce our latest strategic global expansion with our new franchise partner, Livart,” said Laura Alber, president and CEO of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. “Livart’s market expertise and extensive retail footprint in South Korea will enable us to deliver the same high quality of service that we provide in the US and around the world. Livart is the best partner to help bring our brands to the Korean market,” she said
Hwa-Eung Kim, representative director and CEO of Hyundai Livart Furniture, said the franchise agreement will help strengthen the company’s competitive advantage in the domestic premium home furnishings market by complementing existing Livart brands.
“We plan to leverage our diverse distribution channels to expand strategically through Seoul and other major cities.”