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Lotte Shopping brings Conran Shop to Seoul
2019-11-18
Lotte Shopping launched a branch of the Conran Shop today, bringing a touch of British design class to Korea.

Started by British designer Terence Orby Conran, there are 11 Conran Shops worldwide, including in France and Japan. It offers a range of products including furniture, kitchen utensils and design books. Conran is said to have revolutionized the way people in Britain lived, according to Stephen Briars, chief director of the Conran Shop, who attended a press event held in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, on Thursday.

In 3,305 square meters (35,574 square feet) of space, the shop in Daechi-dong in Gangnam sells its own branded items as well as goods from other brands. It also offers customized products, which can take more than six months to make and deliver. 

Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra, Finish design firm Artek, Danish furniture company Carl Hansen & Son and U.S. design firm Knoll are some of the brands stocked. 

“We understand that a lot of foreign brands have already become available in Korea,” said Kim Sung-eun, head of the Conran team at Lotte Department Store in Korea. “But our strengths lie in providing exclusive and limited editions that can’t be found in other shops. It’s true that we can’t stop consumers from directly purchasing from overseas shopping platforms, but we can offer exclusive products that aren’t even available at the Conran Shops in Britain.”

Kim admitted that the prices of some products in Korea will be greater than in Britain due to import taxes. 

“Department stores sell products,” said Conran Shop CEO Hugh Wahla. “What we do is curate the style of life… We have a particular lens we view the world through. That’s the lens we apply to the products within the Conran Shop. As part of that, we’re able to focus on a very specific aesthetic, which is simple and functional in design.”

The market for home furnishings in Korea grew from 4.9 trillion won in 2016 to 5.21 trillion won last year, according to market research firm Euromonitor International Korea. 

Lotte has signed a 10-year contract with Conran Shop. 

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