Marks & Spencer to extend its reach in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan
Marks & Spencer is to increase its presence in Saudi Arabia and open a first store in Azerbaijan.
Working with franchise partner Alhokair Fashion Retail, Marks & Spencer will grow its store portfolio in Saudi Arabia with a pipeline of 10 new store openings by April 2015. Alhokair will also open the retailer’s new flagship store in Baku - its first in Azerbaijan.
Having worked with Alhokair since 2001, Marks & Spencer now has 19 franchise stores across Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Georgia. Alhokair has continued to grow Marks & Spencer’s presence in Saudi Arabia and the Caucasus, including the opening of the retailer’s world-first standalone lingerie & beauty stores in Saudi Arabia in March.
Simon Marshall, chief executive of Alhokair, said: “M&S has tremendous appeal to consumers in all the markets in which we operate their stores currently, and further afield. Our focus is on driving fast, efficient and profitable growth for their core business and new store formats.”
Alhokair will open two of Marks & Spencer’s new Saudi Arabian stores this summer including a 930 square metre store at Aziz Mall in Jeddah in August and a 1,700 square metre store at Nakheel Mall in Riyadh in September.
It will also launch two further standalone Marks & Spencer lingerie & beauty stores at the Al Noor Mall in Medina and at the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah this autumn. In addition, a further six lingerie & beauty stores are set to open in Saudi Arabia by the end of this financial year.
Mark Koprowski, Marks & Spencer’s regional director, Middle East and CIS, said: “Our franchise partnerships are central to our international growth strategy. Alhokair offers us extensive retail expertise, local knowledge and access to some of the region’s prime shopping destinations. Through our successful partnership, we’re delighted to continue to build our presence in Saudi Arabia and the Caucasus to bring more of our quality, stylish fashions to customers across the region.”
Marks & Spencer will also open a 1,700 square metre flagship in Port Baku Mall in Azerbaijan with Alhokair. The store will launch in the autumn.
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