[THE INVESTOR] Home styling company Casamia is jumping into the premium order-made kitchen service, calling it C_LAB Kitchen, the firm said on June 13.
“In the past, kitchen furniture was chosen with a focus on price, but today design is becoming much more important,” said Ryu Hwa-suk, head of Casamia‘s interior design team, at a press conference at the La Casa Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Seoul on .
Kitchens designed by Casamia‘s C_LAB Kitchen. Casamia.
The new line of kitchen products comes under Casamia’s interior design brand C_LAB, which offers one-on-one interior design consultations. C_LAB Kitchen currently has a lineup of pre-designed island and corner kitchen sets, but customers will be able to change the designs to their preference.
C_LAB Kitchen services are priced at around 16 million ($14,180) to 20 million won for a 132.2 square-meter home, which is close to the high-end prices of other furniture brands.
All of C_LAB Kitchen‘s consultants are directly employed by Casamia. According to Ryu, C_LAB can handle up to just 10 homes simultaneously at the moment.
“We believe that in order to maintain our quality, it is important for the entire process to be under our direct control,” she said.
Through C_LAB, Casamia is seeking to reposition itself as a space-customizing brand, distancing the company from brands such as Ikea that have swallowed market share through a low-cost, high-volume strategy.
The company will be opening a store in Gwangmyeong near Ikea in 2018, but CEO Jee Cheoul-gyu said that it will have a completely different concept, with each customer being greeted and guided through the store rather than being left to browse on their own.
“Our focus will be on providing a customized service based on each customer’s needs and wants, with a customer-focused store layout that includes fun and experience-centered elements,” Jee said.
The focus on the short-term will be on building a customer base and increasing sales, with no plans this year to pursue a public listing, Jee told reporters. Family-owned Casamia sought a public listing last year, but withdrew when the company was valued “at an unsatisfactory level,” according to Jee.
By Won Ho-jung/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)