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M&S sells some of its Hong Kong stores to Al Futtaim

Sheetal Sukhija - Wednesday 3rd January, 2018

HONG KONG, China - As part of a strategic review of its overseas operations, Marks & Spencer (M&S) has sold 27 of its Hong Kong stores to Al Futtaim.

The retailer said that it sold its stores in both Hong Kong and Macau to its largest franchise partner, Dubai-based Al Futtaim.

As part of the deal, Al Futtaim became the sole franchisee for the FTSE 100 retailer in the Chinese territories.

This, reports noted, leaves the company operating a total of 72 M&S branded stores across 11 markets in Asia and the Middle East.

M&S’s strategic review of its overseas business in 2016 proposed it operate in fewer wholly-owned markets.

The company has confirmed that there had been no redundancies as part of the sale.

While the value of the deal has not been disclosed, the stores involved are reportedly a mixture of food-only and those which combine consumables with fashion and homewares.

Paul Friston, director of M&S international 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."

Meanwhile, Stephen Rayfield, vice president of Al Futtaim's M&S division, added, "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."

Two months back, M&S spared its Hong Kong operation in a reshaping of its business and announced the closure of 30 U.K. stores.

Further, the retailer is also converting 45 more of its stores into food-only outlets as it cut back on floor space devoted to its clothing ranges. 

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