With more than 50 years of experience in producing household furniture in South Korea, Jang In decided to expand its business overseas in 2004 and China was the port of call.
At that time, Chinese furniture market was highly developed with many Korean businesses having long settled in. Competition was hence very fierce. After two years of pondering, Jang In decided to withdraw from China in 2006 to enter Vietnam.
Jang In Furniture Vietnam sales director Byun Sang Yeol reveals that the company changed its investment location due to the better potential of Vietnam's market and the cultural similarities between Vietnam and South Korea.
He explains that although Vietnamese furniture market was yet to develop at that time, Jang In leaders believed that one day it would grow and the company needed to come first and wait for opportunities to come.
Byun now believes that Jang In's decision to change investment location is one of the smartest ones the company leaders have ever taken.
In August 2006, Jang In was granted an investment licence and in March 2007, it opened the first workshop in Dong Nai province. In June 2008, the second factory was built and in May 2010, Jang In opened its first showroom in Vietnam.
During those days, Vietnamese preferred sculpted natural hardwood furniture. Therefore, Jang In has only one hardwood production line for the domestic market and all of the other lines produced softwood products for export to Korea.
In 2012, Jang In saw the demand for modern industrial furniture of Vietnamese people increase and it began manufacturing living-room sofas for sale. However, it was not until 2017 when the Vietnamese furniture market started to have matured that Jang In decided to open more stores.
So far, Jang In has opened six showrooms in Ho Chi Minh City. The company plans to open two more stores in the next few months in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and it will open stores nationwide in the next few years.
Jang In currently has two factory clusters in South Korea and Vietnam, employing 300 and 400 people respectively.
Early bird gets the worm
After years in the Vietnamese market, Jang In has mastered the habits and consumption trends of local customers.
Thanks to the Hallyu influence, strength of the Korean designing industry and cultural similarities between Vietnam and South Korea, Jang In products can fit the Vietnamese taste, especially the smart products.
Byun also believes that thanks to more than 50 years of experience and having a factory in Vietnam, Jang In could produce high-quality furniture.
"As per my experience, the optimal level of material, technology, design and price of the furniture products goes with the age of the company, as the longer the research and testing time is, the more effective they are", he said.
Having a factory in Vietnam has helped Jang In not only produce furniture at a cheaper price than other foreign companies but also can have products tailor-made to fit local taste and natural conditions of Vietnam.
Byun said that with the impressive growth of the middle class and the increasing preference for apartments, the Vietnamese furniture market would flourish in the near future, which would represent a great opportunity for Jang In.
The Korean furniture market is about to saturate and their industrial zones have few land for production expansion. Hence, Vietnam will be Jang In's focus in the years to come before expanding to other Southeast Asian nations.