SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Williams-Sonoma, Inc. announced today that it will bring its family of home furnishings brands to South Korea through a franchise agreement with Hyundai Livart Furniture Co. Ltd, a leading Korean furniture manufacturer and distributor. 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.
“We are pleased to announce our latest strategic global expansion with our new franchise partner, Livart,” said Laura Alber, President and Chief Executive Officer 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 United States and around the world. Livart is the best partner to help bring our brands to the Korean market.”
"We are honored to help bring Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s products and services to South Korea,” said Hwa-Eung Kim, Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer of Hyundai Livart Furniture Co. Ltd. “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, Inc. 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.
About Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is a specialty retailer of high-quality products for the home. These products, representing eight distinct merchandise strategies – Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, West Elm, PBteen, Williams Sonoma Home, Rejuvenation, and Mark and Graham – are marketed through e-commerce websites, direct mail catalogs and retail stores. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. currently operates in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, offers international shipping to customers worldwide, and has unaffiliated franchisees that operate stores in the Middle East and the Philippines and stores and e-commerce websites in Mexico.
About Hyundai Livart
Hyundai Livart, an affiliate of Hyundai Department Store Group, is a home furnishing company which provides new lifestyles to its customers in areas of home, office, built-in and diverse areas. Hyundai Livart's main brands include; Livart, Livart Neoce, Livart Ismine, Livart Kitchen, Livart Kids, H.Mondo. As described in Livart's name (Living+Art, Designing the living space through art) aims to provide its customers every day new life.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they do not fully materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include statements related to the success of our franchise operations in South Korea and our global expansion strategy. The risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include the risk that the anticipated franchise stores or e-commerce in South Korea do not open on schedule or are not successful, that the overall franchise operations are not successful, and that we are not able to continue to execute our global expansion strategy as planned. These and other risks and uncertainties are described more fully in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2016 and all subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.