Marks & Spencer announces plans for further international expansion, including opening 250 new stores, growing food business, increasing franchise operations, with goal of increasing international earnings by 40% over three years

LONDON , April 9, 2014 (press release) – Strategy focused expanding Food business and increasing franchise operations

Today at Marks & Spencer’s Investor Seminar in Paris, the retailer unveiled plans for further international expansion with a focus on opening 250 new stores, growing its Food business and increasing its franchise operations.

In a series of presentations from the senior M&S team and Al-Futtaim, one of M&S’s key franchise partners, M&S revealed that, over the next three it will concentrate on growing International revenues by 25% and International profits by 40%.

M&S will achieve this by focusing on four key areas. It will grow its presence in existing markets and drive business in its priority markets of India, China, Russia, the Middle East and Western Europe. The company will also expand internationally with a ‘bricks & clicks’ approach by establishing flagship stores in key cities supported M&S Food stores and a full online offer.

It will also expand its Food business in Western Europe by opening c.20 standalone Food stores in Paris over the next three years, and rolling out fresh food in Europe through its franchise partnerships.

A further future opportunity will be exploited through the expansion of its new Lingerie & Beauty concepts in the Middle East and India.

Marc Bolland, M&S’s Chief Executive, said: “Our strategy of becoming an International, Multi-channel retailer is more relevant than ever before because of the strong growth potential of International markets. We are focusing on Flagship stores to deliver brand presence and stand-out. We also see great opportunities in fresh Food and Lingerie & Beauty concepts.”

Steve Rowe, M&S Executive Director of Food, said: “M&S Food is in much demand globally. From toasted crumpets in The Hague to red wine in China, our international customers are very quick to tell us what their favourite M&S products are. This is why expanding our fresh food offer presents us with a strong growth opportunity.

“We’re putting M&S Food on the map over the next five years. Western Europe is our focus and finding the right partners and locations is vital to the success of our plan to have the optimal Food store portfolio in this time.”

Food expansion in Western Europe
M&S is targeting around 20 Marks & Spencer Food stores in the French capital over the next three years – which will see Paris become M&S’s largest food market outside of the UK. The strategy comprises:

A new franchise partnership with SFH Invest to open Marks & Spencer Food stores at on-street locations in Paris. Trading from c.300 square metres, the first three stores under the new partnership will open this summer.
To complement its new franchise stores, and in line with its mixed ownership model for Western Europe, M&S will also open two owned Food stores this summer.

As part of its strategy to open Marks & Spencer Food stores in Paris, in October M&S announced a new franchise partnership with Relay France to open ten Marks & Spencer Food stores at popular travel locations in and around Paris by 2018. The first 700 square metre store at La Défense RATP RER station will open at the beginning of June.

M&S to double franchise business with Al Futtaim
The vision to build a leadership position in the Middle East was unveiled by Omar Al Futtaim, Chairman of Al Futtaim Group, and Paul Delaoutre, President of Retail for Al-Futtaim Group at Marks & Spencer’s Investor Seminar in Paris today.

Al-Futtaim Group has worked in partnership with Marks & Spencer since 1997 and currently operates 46 M&S stores in the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman and Qatar, in addition to Malaysia and Singapore via its Robinsons subsidiary. The Group has continued to grow M&S’s presence in the region with the opening of seven new stores during the last year including a new 6,690 square metre flagship store at The View in Salmiya, Kuwait and a new 3,650 square metre flagship store at Cairo Festival City Mall in Egypt. During the year, M&S also entered Lebanon and Jordan for the first time through its franchise partnership with Al Futtaim.

-Ends-

For further information please contact:
M&S Corporate Press Office +44 (0)20 8718 1919

Notes to Editors
About Marks & Spencer Food stores

The new French Food stores will offer customers convenient access to a range of up to 2,500 exceptional quality, fresh M&S food products.
There are currently 10 Marks & Spencer Food stores internationally in the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands, Hong Kong and Malta.

About Relay

Operating more than 850 points of sales in national railway stations, airports, metro stations and hospitals, Relay France, a subsidiary of Lagardère Services, is a major player in national travel retail.
The preferred partner of press and book publishers, Relay France is also developing an important network of convenience and fast food points of sale for travelers

About SFH Invest
SFH Invest was established by Steve and Franck Hadjez who have significant experience in the grocery industry.

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