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Iris Ohyama plans factory, R&D in South Korea

Japanese home goods maker says expansion yet to be decided

Iris Ohyama has been manufacturing home goods in China for online sales there.

SEOUL -- Japanese home goods maker Iris Ohyama plans to set up a factory and an R&D center in Incheon, the South Korean city's government said Wednesday.

Incheon's municipal government said it received a document outlining investment plans from Iris Ohyama. But the company, based in the northeastern Japanese city of Sendai, has not confirmed these plans.

"We are thinking about setting up a factory and other facilities in South Korea, but have not decided anything officially yet," a company official said.

According to Incheon, Iris Ohyama intends to spend $30 million and build a factory for home appliances and everyday goods on roughly 23,000 sq. meters in the city, which borders the capital of Seoul. The site also would house a research and development facility. Production would start in the second half of 2018.

The company's vacuum cleaners, storage cases and other products are popular among South Korean online shoppers. But Iris Ohyama has only a distribution facility in the country at present. Manufacturing products locally would let the company boost profit margins and deliver products more quickly.

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