Marks & Spencer has laid down plans to bolster its presence in the Middle East with ten new stores set to open in Saudi Arabia by April next year.
The retailer will open the stores with retail conglomerate Alhokair Fashion Retail, which has worked with M&S since 2001 and currently operates 19 M&S franchise stores across Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Georgia. M&S currently has 16 stores in Saudi Arabia.
M&S will kickstart its expansion in the region with a 930 sq m (10,010 sq ft) store at Aziz Mall in Jeddah in August followed by a 1,700 sq m (18,299 sq ft) store at Nakheel Mall in Riyadh in September.
The retailer, which has two lingerie and beauty stores in Saudi Arabia, will open a further two at the Al Noor Mall in Medina and at the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah this autumn. It will also open a further six lingerie and beauty shops in the region by the end of the financial year.
The retailer will also open its first store in Azerbaijan this autumn, with a 1,700 sq m (18,299 sq ft) shop at Port Baku Mall in Baku. The store will stock fashion across womenswear, menswear, kidswear and lingerie.
Marks & Spencer regional director of the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Mark Koprowski said: “Through our successful partnership, we’re delighted to continue to build our presence in Saudi Arabia and the Caucasus to bring more of our quality, stylish fashions to customers across the region.”
Alhokair chief executive Simon Marshall said: “M&S has tremendous appeal to consumers in all the markets in which we operate their stores currently, and further afield. Our focus is on driving fast, efficient and profitable growth for their core business and new store formats.”