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From Home Furnishing Business

Williams-Sonoma Signs Deal with Korean Furniture Producer

Retailer Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) signed a franchise agreement with Korean furniture manufacturer Hyundai Livart Furniture Co. to operate retail stores and an e-commerce business in South Korea.

Under terms of the agreement, the new franchisee, an affiliate of Hyundai Department Store Group, will have exclusive rights to use the Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm brands in the country.

Over the next 10 years, Williams-Sonoma said Livart is expected to open more than 30 stores in South Korea. The first stores scheduled to open this spring include a combined Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids store, a West Elm store at the Hyundai City Mall Garden Five Mall, and a Williams Sonoma store at the HDS Mokdong branch.

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

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