The sale, which completed on December 30, sees Al-Futtaim become the new sole franchisee for Marks & Spencer in Hong Kong and Macau. The deal relates to M&S’ owned retail business in Hong Kong and Macau only – Marks &Spencer’s Hong Kong sourcing based operation remains wholly-owned.
Headquartered in Dubai, Al-Futtaim operates through more than 200 companies across four divisions: automotive, financial services, real estate and retail. It employs more than 42,000 people across 29 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
Al-Futtaim has worked in partnership with Marks & Spencer since 1998 when it opened Dubai’s first Marks & Spencer store. Following this purchase of 27 Marks & Spencer stores in Hong Kong and Macau, Al-Futtaim now operates 72 Marks & Spencer stores across 11 markets in Asia and the Middle East.
Marks & Spencer international director Paul Friston 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.”
The sale follows Marks &Spencer’s strategic review of its international business in November 2016, where M&S proposed to have a greater focus on its established franchise and joint venture partnerships and operate with fewer wholly-owned markets. Internationally, Marks & Spencer trades in 50 markets with over 400 stores, and an online presence in 25 markets.
Marks & Spencer Queensway in Hong Kong