Mothercare has signed a franchise agreement with Tesco-owned supermarket Homeplus to open stores and launch online in South Korea.

Mark Newton-Jones with Do Sung-hwan, chief executive of Homeplus

The deal will ramp up the British specialist’s presence in Asia to 17 countries.

The first four stores will open in Seoul, Bucheon, Daejeon and Suwon in February, followed by an ecommerce offer on the Homeplus website. 

Mothercare chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said: “South Korea is a country we have been looking to serve for some time and we have found a local partner in Homeplus, with extensive knowledge and experience of retailing in South Korea.”

Homeplus chief executive Do Sung-hwan said there was a need in its market for “a one-stop-shop specialist retailer offering everything parents and parents-to-be may need to help them care for their children”. 

Mothercare operates 1,324 stores worldwide, with shops in 62 countries.