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Williams-Sonoma, Hyundai Livart Furniture sign franchise deal

Published 14 February 2017

Williams-Sonoma is bringing its family of home furnishings brands to South Korea via a franchise agreement with Hyundai Livart Furniture.

Livart, an affiliate of Hyundai Department Store Group (HDG), will have exclusive rights to operate stores, shop-in-shops, and e-commerce for the following brands in the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio: Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm.

Williams-Sonoma president and CEO Laura Alber said: “We are pleased to announce our latest strategic global expansion with our new franchise partner, Livart.

“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 United States and around the world. Livart is the best partner to help bring our brands to the Korean market.”

Hyundai Livart Furniture representative director and CEO Hwa-Eung Kim said: "We are honored to help bring Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s products and services to South Korea.

“This franchise agreement will help strengthen our competitive advantage in the domestic premium home furnishings market by complementing existing Livart brands, and we plan to leverage our diverse distribution channels to expand strategically through Seoul and other major cities.”

Over the next 10 years, Livart is expected to open over 30 stores in South Korea across four Williams-Sonoma brands. The first stores scheduled to open this spring include a combined Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids store (of 924?/280 pyeong), a West Elm store (of 700?/212 pyeong) at the Hyundai City Mall Garden Five Mall, and a Williams Sonoma store (297?/90 pyeong) at the HDS Mokdong branch.

Source: Company Press Release