With a booming housing sector and an increasing consumer interest in lifestyle improvement and interior design, the Korean design market shows promise for companies in the industry.
Single households in the Republic of Korea form the largest percentage of total households at 26% and the percentage keeps increasing.
Coupled with a growing desire to create personal spaces that reflect individual personalities, this trend opens-up new opportunities for companies that focus on highly aesthetic and functional pieces.
Scandinavian designs and the French antique styles are very sought after in the Korean market, making European brands extremely popular among consumers of all ages.
With sophisticated European styles now trending, designers and manufacturers from all around Europe also enjoy increasing popularity.
Furniture, interior lighting, finished home textiles, wallpapers, carpets, curtains, storage and decorative items (such as clocks, pottery, high-end design tableware and cutlery), bathroom accessories and other premium interior design items are in great demand in Korea.
The Korean home furnishing market is expected to reach €13.4 billion by 2023. The vast majority share of the market is young adults and newlyweds, between 20 and 40 years old.
This market segment prefers highly customisable, multi-purpose furniture, with great design and at affordable prices.
Minimalist lines are at the top of consumer demand preferences.
These consumers are likely to spend more on current trends that combine practicality with unique designs and are heavily influenced by social media platforms in their decision-making process.
The same trend is expanding in the public realm as well, not only in domestic households.
Bars, restaurants, hotels and coffee shops are decorated in European styles, combining high functionality with refined aesthetics.
European companies offering products that could appeal to the Korean consumer have a real chance to start selling on the market provided they take advantage of the right opportunities.
The surest way to expand business in the Korean market is through identifying sure-fire entry points and partnering with the right local companies.
Here’s how a programme like EU Gateway | Business Avenues can help.
In 2020, EU Gateway | Business Avenues organises a new business mission to Seoul focused on Contemporary European Design .
Up to 50 of the most exciting companies in the sector will be selected for the EU-funded mission and go to Seoul, showcase their products and meet prospective clients and partners face-to-face.
The Programme is of undeniable and immediate value for all participants. Here’s  what some of our previous participants had to say about the business missions they attended.
Don’t miss the opportunity to find established partners and customers in the Korean market: send your expression of interest  before 7 February.