It is dubbed the Mercedes-Benz of baby strollers. It comes with a high price tag — easily over 1 million won ($907) — but its sleek design and user-friendly features have made it one of the most-coveted stroller labels among trend-sensitive young moms in Korea for the past few years.
Stokke, a premium baby product maker from Norway, opened its first Korean flagship store last week in the affluent Sinsa-dong in southern Seoul alongside other high-end fashion houses such as Hermès and Ralph Lauren.
As a comprehensive flagship store that not only sells strollers but also baby furniture and other baby products, the Seoul store is the second of its type after one in Shanghai.
Anton Van De Putte, CEO of Stokke, who joined the company last year, emphasized Korea as a highly “strategic” market for the Scandanavian baby product manufacturer to succeed in other Asian countries. The company believed the many “trend-setting” Korean moms will have considerable influence in other Asian countries. At the event, Stokke unveiled the latest version of its Xplory stroller for the first time, which comes with upgraded wheels.
It was in 2003 that Xplory, Stokke’s most popular product in Korea, was invented and was well-received for its height-adjustable strollers that can also have the baby seat rear- or front-faced.
In 2006, Stokke shut down its ordinary furniture business and focused on premium baby products. In 2014, Stokke was acquired by NXMH, a Belgian branch of NXC, a holding company of Korea’s game firm Nexon.
Currently, Stokke has entered some 80 countries worldwide.
Despite Korea’s fertility rate of 1.2, which is the lowest among OECD countries, Stokke is seeing big potential here, deciding to open its first Korean flagship store after nearly a decade since it first entered Korea and has been enjoying a steady market share ever since.
The European stroller maker believes the low fertility rate can reversely raise demand as it will encourage couples to buy, not many, but select high-quality products for their children.
“We are counting on ‘eight-pocket money,’ where one baby triggers baby product purchases from parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and more,” said Axl Paik, the country manager of Stokke Korea, who was also at the opening.
(Source: Korea Joongang Daily)