Gifts Today magazine

Williams-Sonoma open in South Korea

Williams-Sonoma has opened its brands’ first stores in Seoul, South Korea, as part of its franchise agreement with home goods retailer Hyundai Livart Furniture

Williams-Sonoma’s first stores have opened in Seoul, South Korea, as part of its its franchise with home goods retailer Hyundai Livart Furniture. The openings are the first of 30 stores planned to open in South Korea over the next 10 years.

Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids opened a combined store, and West Elm opened a store at Hyundai City Mall Garden 5. Williams Sonoma opened at Hyundai Department Store Mokdong.

In an official press release, Laura Alber, president and CEO of Williams-Sonoma, says: “This is an exciting milestone in our global expansion.”

In October, Williams-Sonoma and Livart plan to open a five-story flagship store in Nonhyeon-dong, Seoul. The superstore will include Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm, and will represent the first time three Williams-Sonoma brands will be offered in a single standalone location. An additional Williams-Sonoma store will open in the Hyundai City Mall Daegu branch by the end of the year.

The first Williams-Sonoma Inc. store openings will “bring a big change to the domestic home furnishings market in South Korea”, says Hwa-Eung Kim, representative director and CEO of Hyundai Livart Furniture.

Williams-Sonoma operates retail stores in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K., and it franchises brands to third parties in the Middle East, the Philippines and Mexico.

By the end of this year, Williams-Sonoma Inc. will be represented at more than 145 international retail locations.

Ronald Young, executive vice president, global, of Williams-Sonoma, says: “As we begin our partnership with Livart opening our first four stores of many to come in South Korea, we look forward to the tremendous opportunity of continuing our global expansion.”

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