New Look has hired a new head of its French subsidiary Mim as it gears up for international expansion into further markets.

Dennis Mok, former head of European fashion ventures M&S Mode and Cool Cat, will join as managing director in May.

New Look managing director of marketing, operations and international Carl McPhail, who is also Mim president, said the move represents “the last piece of the jigsaw” since Mim’s acquisition in 2003. “The changes set us up for future growth,” he added.

Mok will drive Mim’s expansion in Belgium – where it has piloted two stores and plans to open 35 next year – and into new markets including Spain and Holland. McPhail also said there is potential for 400 stores in France, where it has 272 at present.

Mok will report to Michael Lemner, who oversees Mim and New Look’s global businesses.

McPhail said Mim would benefit from entering other markets by leveraging franchise relationships New Look has in Russia, Singapore and the Middle East.

New Look operates five franchises in the Middle East as part of a deal with Micky Jagtiani’s Landmark Group and will up this to 40 this year. It will also sign agreements with franchise partners in Russia and Singapore in the next two months. McPhail said he believes there is scope for 100 stores in Russia.

The retailer has drafted in consultant McKinsey to review its operational strategy ahead of the global roll-out.

Mok was placed by headhunter Heidrick & Struggles.