Marks & Spencer is changing. The quintessential British retailer has underperformed in comparison to its competitors for years. However, under the leadership of Steve Rowe, who was appointed CEO in 2016, the company has launched a massive transformation of its business. As a part of that, Marks & Spencer has now sold its franchising operations in Hong Kong and Macau to Al-Futtaim, the retail operator.
Similar to McDonald’s, a part of the strategy to turn around the company, Marks & Spencer is doubling down on its franchising efforts. And given that Al-Futtaim has been a proud partner of Marks & Spencer since the retailer first set up shop in Dubai in 1998, it’s safe to say that the 27 previously company-owned stores included in the deal are now in safe hands. Al-Futtaim now operates 72 Marks & Spencer stores across 11 markets in Asia and the Middle East.
Commenting on the deal, Paul Friston, international director at Marks & Spencer’s, 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.”
Businesses have long benefitted from being part of Brand Britain and seeing as you can’t really get more British than Marks & Spencer, we have faith that this move may help the company get back on top.