Marks & Spencer streamlines presence in overseas markets
The retailer will part with some of their key non-UK operations, 27 in total, but the stores will still keep the M&S name under the franchise arrangement. Dubai-based Al-Futtaim will take on the stores in the move that will see them with 72 outlets under the brand across the Middle East and Asia.
Just two months ago, M&S announced the closure of 30 of its UK stores, and the conversion of 45 more into food-only outlets in an effort to cut back on floor space devoted to its clothing ranges.
Chief executive Steve Rowe unveiled the turnaround plan, along with the closure of 53 loss-making overseas outlets, including in China, France and Belgium.
“We have substantially reshaped our international business, which has improved profitability and positioned us for growth,” said Marks & Spencer’s international director, Paul Friston. “As one of the world’s leading retail operators, with strong logistics capabilities and local expertise, Al-Futtaim is the ideal partner for us to develop and grow our business in Hong Kong and Macau.”
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