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(LEAD) LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault meets with department store executives over partnerships

20:30 March 21, 2023

(ATTN: UPDATES info in para 4)

SEOUL, March 21 (Yonhap) -- LVMH Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault has discussed potential partnerships with top executives of South Korean department stores, officials said Tuesday, as the French luxury empire is seeking to boost its presence in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Arnault held a series of separate meetings with top executives of three local department stores -- Shinsegae Department Store, Hyundai Department Store and Hanwha Group's Galleria Department Store -- as well as Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin.

He has discussed potential partnerships with the executives, as he visited key department stores, officials said, without elaborating.

Arnault, who is accompanied by his daughter, Delphine Arnault, chairman and CEO of Christian Dior, also met with Hotel Shilla Co. CEO Lee Boo-jin and her mother, Hong Ra-hee.

The visit -- the first in more than three years -- came as the world's largest luxury house is pushing to increase its presence in South Korea, which has become one of the most important markets for luxury brands.

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE owns such brands as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Fendi and Bulgari, as well as TAG Heuer and Tiffany & Co.

South Koreans were the world's biggest spender of personal luxury goods per capita in 2022, according to Morgan Stanley, with the nation's per capita spending amounting to US$325. This far exceeds the $55 and $280 per capita spending by Chinese and Americans, respectively.

The trip also reflects the group's deepening love for South Korean consumers. Louis Vuitton Korea's sales swelled 40.2 percent on-year to over 1.4 trillion won ($1.1 billion) in 2021. The group has collaborated with various K-pop celebrities, including BLACKPINK's Jisoo and BTS' J-HOPE, who were named global ambassadors of its house brands.

Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, tours around the Lotte Department Store in southern Seoul with Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin on March 20, 2023. (Yonhap)



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