By Ed Attwood
Retail group opens Beirut store; plans 41 stores in next five years across MENA region
Dubai-based Landmark Group has opened its first outlet in Lebanon, marking the latest destination in the retailer’s regional expansion plans.
The conglomerate launched its core Centrepoint store in Beirut’s City Mall on Thursday.
“The group has an aggressive expansion strategy for Lebanon with plans to open 41 stores, including the launch of several new brands of the Landmark Group, encompassing over 340,000 square foot of retail space over the next five years," said Landmark CEO Vipen Sethi.
The City Mall location has a total retail area of just under 45,000 square feet.
In October, Sethi said that Landmark was planning to spend $54m in opening 100 new retail stores by June this year, plus two new hotels.
Other than Lebanon, the group is also looking at Syria and a franchise operation in Libya.
The financing for the expansion plans will come from Landmark’s internal resources, Sethi added. The firm claims a turnover of about $3.8bn and is targeting $5bn within the next three years, helped by forecast growth of 20 percent a year.
“We have liquidity for that expansion,” Sethi said.
Landmark has 900 existing stores across the Middle East, India, Turkey and Pakistan, and employs 31,000 staff.
Last year, Landmark bought the franchise rights to Fitness First health clubs for an undisclosed price from Saudi Arabia's Alhokair group.
In September, the Landmark subsidiary C1 Acquisitions made a bid of £90.3m to take over restaurant chain Carluccio's.