Marks and Spencer has confirmed the sale and franchise of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau to its “long-established franchise partner” Al-Futtaim.
The retailer has been working with Al-Futtaim since 1998 when it opened Dubai’s first Marks and Spencer store and confirmed that the sale was completed on December 30, making Al-Futtaim the new solo franchisee for the British retailer in Hong Kong and Macau.
Paul Friston, Marks and Spencer’s international director, said: “We have substantially reshaped our International business, which has improved profitability and positioned us for growth.
“As one of the world’s leading retail operators, with strong logistics capabilities and local expertise, Al-Futtaim is the ideal partner for us to develop and grow our business in Hong Kong and Macau.”
Marks and Spencer sells Hong Kong business to long-term partner Al-Futtaim
The acquisition is just for the 27 stores in Hong Kong and Macau, the retailer stated that its Hong Kong-based sourcing operation will remain wholly-owned.
Al-Futtaim now operates 72 Marks and Spencer stores across 11 markets in Asia and the Middle East.
Stephen Rayfield, vice president Marks and Spencer and sports and lifestyle division at Al-Futtaim said: “We are delighted to strengthen our long-term partnership with M&S and expand Al-Futtaim’s international footprint to Hong Kong and Macau. Al-Futtaim looks forward to building on our solid foundations as we continue to enrich our customers’ lives and aspirations through the provision of quality products and services in Hong Kong and Macau.”
The sale follows a strategic review by Marks and Spencer of its international business in 2016, where the retailer decided to increase its focus on its established franchise and joint venture partnerships and to operate with fewer wholly-owned markets.