British retailer M&S to open three stores in Egypt

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
M&S has more than 350 stores in 42 overseas territories

M&S has more than 350 stores in 42 overseas territories

UK retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) plans to open three stores in Egypt as part of a five-year expansion plan across the Middle East, the store’s franchise partner said. 

The company will press ahead with the opening of its second Cairo store by the end of October, despite recent widespread political unrest in the Arab country, said Bruce Bowman, head of operations for M&S at Dubai’s Al Futtaim.

“We have undoubted confidence that we will be in Egypt for the medium to long term, and it’s not going to stop at a second store - there will also be a third and a fourth store,” said Bowman.

“There are active conversations going on with landlords in major malls just now.”

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, attracted Gulf developers and retailers with five years of rapid economic growth prior to the revolution.

UAE developer Majid Al Futtaim operates eight supermarkets and two shopping malls in the country, with plans to open a third in 2014.

“Egypt is a key market. With a population of 80 million there’s real opportunity for scale there,” Bowman said.

Al Futtaim currently operates 14 Marks & Spencer outlets across the Gulf and is due to open its second store in Abu Dhabi in September.

 Under a five-year, Gulf-wide expansion plan, the company plans to open at least one more store in Kuwait and Qatar, expand its stores in Oman and Bahrain and add new outlets in the UAE.

“The number of stores that we have in each country is going to be linked to the size of the market,” said Bowman. “We’re looking for additional real estate in Kuwait, there’s no doubt opportunity for growth there in terms of numbers of stores.

“In Qatar we have two stores, but we’ve already announced at a corporate level that Al Futtaim is building Doha Festival City and we will absolutely have a Marks & Spencer there.”

M&S this year said it planned to speed up its international expansion in a bid to offset domestic competition with revenue from fast-growing emerging markets.

Chief executive Mark Bolland said in February he planned to transform M&S “from a UK multi-channel retailer to an international multi-channel retailer” by 2015. 

M&S has more than 350 stores in 42 overseas territories.

Related:
Companies
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Terry

Please open M & S in Luxor!!!!!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Mall talk

Mall talk

Plans for Dubai’s Mall of the World have made headlines all over...

1
Dubai's nightlife bubble: When is it going to burst?

Dubai's nightlife bubble: When is it going to burst?

A new breed of clubs and bars is sprouting in the city, but which...

12
Chocolate: worth its weight in gold?

Chocolate: worth its weight in gold?

Middle Eastern consumers with a sweet tooth are buying up ever...

Most Discussed
  • 9
    UAE teens among the highest for obesity rates

    @MT3 I forgot to add that of course this is assuming that the UAE moves toward a single payer model, something that I think has never been considered ... more

    Thursday, 28 August 2014 8:36 PM - Telcoguy
  • 9
    Smoke-free Dubai - the big debate

    Surprisingly the only studies that show a negative financial impact of the smoking ban on the hospitality industry are sponsored by tobacco companies ... more

    Wednesday, 27 August 2014 4:19 PM - Telcoguy
  • 3
    Saudi Arabia said to shelve plan for shorter working week

    It is working fine in the other gulf countries. In Oman, it is working very well and people, including business owners, adapted. Prices did not significantly... more

    Thursday, 28 August 2014 6:23 PM - Tariq AD