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Britain’s MS Ramps Up Overseas Expansion

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Marks & Spencer: Struggling at home but thriving abroad

PARIS, April 2 (Reuters) – Britain’s Marks & Spencer plans to grow its international profits by 40 percent over the next three years by expanding its number of overseas stores by more than a half.
The 130-year-old firm, Britain’s biggest clothing retailer which is struggling in its home market, told a media and investor seminar in Paris it would increase its franchise operations abroad and grow its successful food business.
In total it plans to open 250 new international stores to add to its existing 450 outlets, with a focus on its priority markets of India, China, Russia, the Middle East and Western Europe. It plans to have 100 stores in India by 2016.
In Western Europe it will expand its food business with 20 new stores in Paris in the next three years, making the French capital its largest food market outside of Britain. It will also seek to expand its lingerie and beauty offering in the Middle East and India.
The international expansion forms part of Chief Executive Marc Bolland’s three-year, 2.3 billion pounds ($3.8 billion)turnaround plan to transform M&S into an international, “multi-channel” retailer, connecting with customers through stores, the Internet and mobile devices.
Bolland is under pressure in M&S’s key home market which provides about 90 percent of its revenue. ($1 = 0.5998 British Pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton).

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