Overseas operations have been the talk of retail today as BHS looks to expand its footprint and others have come under fire.
Just two months after the last of its UK stores closed its doors for the final time, BHS has revealed plans to grow its international presence.
The department store chain’s ecommerce platform and overseas business were acquired by the Al Mana Group in June – and it is already in talks with three franchise partners to enter new markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
A more upmarket proposition than British consumers became accustomed to has reaped rewards in territories like Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Malta – and new BHS managing director David Anderson was confident about further growth opportunities when he spoke to Retail Week today.
But there was a contrasting mood at Marks & Spencer and Asos, after a BBC Panorama investigation found that Syrian refugee children had been employed making their clothes at factories in Turkey.
The programme, which airs tonight, once again casts the spotlight on complex supply chains and the difficulty retailers have in governing every stage of the manufacturing and shipping process.
Could such a lack of control, coupled with the increased costs of sourcing post-Brexit, trigger a radical re-shaping of supply chains?
Quote of the day
“We have had quite a few more potential partners approach us…They believe they will get an iconic brand and they have seen our merchandise and have been very enthused by that,” says BHS managing director David Anderson.
Today in numbers
850,000 – The number of visitors to the BHS website since it relaunched at the end of September.
£32m – The current market cap of French Connection, which is attracting interest from private equity firms in the US and Europe.
Floorings specialist Carpetright is the only retailer providing a formal update tomorrow, when it posts details of its second quarter performance. The business is in the process of refurbishing its stores and rolling out a new brand identity.
Luke Tugby, deputy news editor