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M&Co plans Middle East expansion

Fashion retailer M&Co has announced plans to open four new stores in the United Arab Emirates this year.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

M&Co plans Middle East expansion

The company is set to open a 5,000 sq ft outlet in the Dubai Mall in May with a second store opening in the Dubai Marina Mall in June. This will then be followed by the launch of two outlets in Abu Dhabi by autumn 2012.

The Glasgow based business is looking to open up to 50 international franchises if market conditions allow. It has signed a franchise agreement with Liwa Trading Enterprises, the retail arm of Al Nasser Holdings, to open 30 stores in the Gulf Cooperation Council which includes United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman.

Lee Braid, international franchise manager at M&Co, said: "Given the breadth of retail experience the company has in the region, this is a perfect partnership for the contemporary M&Co brand. We see the United Arab Emirates and the wider Middle East as a natural market to launch the brand overseas given our family appeal and strong fashion-focused, quality offering.

"Through this partnership we anticipate a significant increase in sales over the next five years with a more prominent focus on our premium fashion brands and high quality kids ranges which we expect will perform well in this market."

Founded 50 years ago, M&Co operates 282 stores in the UK including three newly re-launched ‘City Concept’ stores. The company, which has a turnover of more than £200 million, is also considering additional franchise opportunities in Serbia, Russia and the Ukraine.

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