SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE: WSM) announced the opening of its brands’ first stores in Seoul, South Korea under its strategic franchise agreement with Hyundai Livart Furniture, a premier home goods retailer. 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. These openings are the first of 30 stores from the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. brand portfolio expected to open across South Korea over the next 10 years.
“This is an exciting milestone in our global expansion,” said Laura Alber, President and Chief Executive Officer of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. “We are proud to open our first stores in Seoul and introduce our distinctive brands, excellent customer service, and exceptional products to customers in South Korea.”
“We currently operate retail stores in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, and franchise our brands to third parties in a number of countries 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,” said Ronald Young, Executive Vice President, Global of Williams–Sonoma, Inc. “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.”
“The first Williams-Sonoma, Inc. store openings bring a big change to the domestic home furnishings market in South Korea,” said Hwa-Eung Kim, Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer of Hyundai Livart Furniture Co. Ltd. “Our partnership with Williams-Sonoma, Inc. helps us bring the best quality and differentiated design offerings to customers, and we are looking forward to opening additional stores in Seoul and in other major cities across South Korea soon.”
This October, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and Livart will open a five-story flagship store in Nonhyun-dong, Seoul. The superstore will include Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and West Elm, and will represent the first time three Williams-Sonoma, Inc. brands are offered in a single standalone location. An additional Williams Sonoma store will be opened in the Hyundai City Mall Daegu branch in the latter half of this year.
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 franchises that operate stores in the Middle East, the Philippines and South Korea, 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 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 29, 2017 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.