By Andy Sambidge
Senior exec at British retailer reveals expansion plan as brand prepares for Jordan debut
British retail giant Marks & Spencer (M&S) said on Monday it plans to open a number of new stores across the Middle East over the next few years.
The company confirmed its commitment to the region as it announced plans to enter the Jordanian market for the first time.
M&S said in a statement that it will open a new store at TAJ Lifestyle in Amman next month. It did not give further details of its expansion plans in the region.
The iconic British brand, which was established in 1884, already has a strong presence in the Middle East, which is one of its priority International markets, with 18 stores in the region through its partnership with franchisee Al-Futtaim Group.
Jan Heere, Marks & Spencer's director of International, said: "We're delighted to be opening our first store in Jordan in December.
"Our new store in Amman will be the first of many new M&S stores planned for the Middle East over the next few years and will feature our latest womenswear, lingerie and beauty products."
M&S last year said it planned to speed up its international expansion in a bid to offset domestic competition with revenue from fast-growing emerging markets.
Former chief executive Mark Bolland said in February 2011 that 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.
Earlier this month, the high street retailer said that UK like-for-like sales during the three months to the end of September were level with last year.
The quarterly sales growth of the food division was 1.6 percent while sales in the general merchandise business dropped 1.8 percent.
For the first half of the year as a whole, sales were down 1.4 percent because of a weak first quarter.
Love M&S, the missus more so.
Just wish they would decide what they are doing with the food outlets in each location.
Cutting down on the size hugely in each branch and reducing choices, is not good.
Anyone from AlFuttaim care to advise where they are going with this?