Retail in Asia

In Shops

Williams-Sonoma enters South Korea with Hyundai


American consumer retailer Williams-Sonoma Inc. will enter the South Korean home furniture and decorating market in partnership with Korean retail giant Hyundai Department Store Group in a bid to capture the fast growing Korean home furnishing market.

Hyundai Livart Furniture Co., a unit of Hyundai Department Store Group, reportedly secured the rights to market William-Sonoma’s home furnishing products and is expected to sign the contract soon.

Home furnishing refers to home furniture and decorating products such as wallpaper, beddings, carpet, and home accessories.

SEE ALSO: Williams-Sonoma stores to help lift online sales: chief

Under the contract, Hyundai Department Store Group will sell William-Sonoma’s products under the American retailer’s four brands — Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm — through its furniture company Hyundai Livart Furniture starting next year.

The namesake brand Williams-Sonoma sells luxury cookware and dinnerware collections, Pottery Barn offers home furniture and home accessories, and Pottery Barn Kids markets kids and baby furniture and accessories.

The Korean retailer plans to aggressively market the William-Sonoma brand that has been one of Korean online shopper’s favourite overseas home décor labels by opening a large-sized store in Hyundai Outlet Garden Five, an upcoming shopping mall in southeastern Seoul in the first half next year.

It will also open William-Sonoma stores carrying sub-brands’ selective items in key Hyundai Department branches and transform some of Hyundai Livart Furniture’s high street stores into William-Sonoma stores as well as add stand-alone shops.

Local brokerage Heungguk Securities Co. predicts the Korean home furnishing market to grow to 18 billion won ($15.7 billion) in value by 2023 from current 10 trillion won.

(Source: Pulse News)