Marks & Spencer In Talks To Sell Hong Kong Stores
Marks & Spencer has announced that it opened talks with its franchise partner Al-Futtaim for the potential purchase of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau.
A successful agreement would see Al-Futtaim become the new sole franchisee for the UK retailer in Hong Kong and Macau, taking over stores currently owned by Marks & Spencer.
Al-Futtaim has been a partner of Marks & Spencer since 1998, when it opened the first M&S store in Dubai. It currently operates 43 Marks & Spencer stores across seven markets in the Middle East, along with Singapore and Malaysia.
The retail group soon plans to open the first standalone M&S Food store in the Middle East.
“In November we set out our plans to create a more sustainable, profitable and customer-centric international business for M&S by focusing on our established partnerships," said Paul Friston, Marks & Spencer's international director.
"Al-Futtaim is a key partner to M&S in Asia and the Middle East and we are both committed to putting the customer at the heart of everything we do. With significant scale and retail expertise in the region, we are looking forward to discussing the potential extension of our partnership to Hong Kong and Macau as we continue to grow and develop our business together.”
Marks and Spencer has said that the discussions are expected to take several months, while its stores in Hong Kong and Macau will continue to trade as normal.
"Al-Futtaim looks forward to building on our solid foundations as we continue to enrich our customers' lives and aspirations through the provision of quality products and services in Hong Kong and Macau," said Stephen Rayfield, senior managing director at Al-Futtaim.
"These are among Marks & Spencer’s most successful and important international markets.”
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.