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M&S sells Hong Kong and Macau stores to franchise partner as part of overhaul

The deal comes as M&S works to turnaround the business following a slump in clothing sales
M&S is selling 27 stores in Hong Kong and Macau

Marks and Spencer Group Plc (LON:MKS) has confirmed it will sell its stores in Hong Kong and Macau to franchise partner Al-Futtaim as part of a wider overhaul of the business.

M&S is selling 27 stores across the two regions for an undisclosed sum in a deal that will keep it under a franchise arrangement.

READ: M&S long-run earnings unlikely to grow, says Goldman Sachs as it cuts target price

Dubai-based Al-Futtaim will be left with 72 outlets under the brand across Asia and the Middle East.

The sale comes as M&S works to turnaround the business by offloading non-UK operations and cutting back on floor space devoted to its struggling clothing ranges.

“We have substantially reshaped our International business, which has improved profitability and positioned us for growth,” said Marks & Spencer’s international director, Paul Friston.

“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.”

M&S had announced in August that it was in discussions with Al-Futtaim about the possible sale of the stores.

READ: M&S begins talks with franchise partner for potential purchase of its business in Hong Kong and Macau

In November, chief executive Steve Rowe revealed plans to close 53 overseas stores in 10 countries after the international business lost £43mln last year.

His plan also included shutting 30 UK stores and converting 45 more into food-only shops following a slump in clothing sales. 


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