John Lewis is looking at opening stores outside of the UK and is considering China as a potential location.

According to The Telegraph, John Lewis chairman Charlie Mayfield recently visited China to source products, visit rival retailers and spend time with potential customers.

He said he was attracted by the rate of growth in the country, particularly because of the economic challenges in the UK but stressed that there were no firm plans in place to open stores there at the moment.

“My view is to think very carefully about what capabilities do we need to establish in order to succeed in international markets,” he said.

John Lewis, which operates 39 stores in the UK, expanded online into Europe last year but at present does not have any stores outside the UK.

The retailer reported that fashion sales for the 13 weeks up to April 28 were up 6.6%, bolstered by sales of men’s outerwear.