max temp: 16°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Retail: Marks & Spencer targets India, China, Russia, Middle East and France in overseas expansion drive

12:11 02 April 2014

Marks & Spencer has announced plans to open 250 new overseas stores in the next three years.

Marks & Spencer has announced plans to open 250 new overseas stores in the next three years.


Marks & Spencer is ramping up its international expansion plans, with a target to open 250 stores over the next three years.


The group hopes the overseas push will grow international sales by a quarter and profits by 40% as it sets its sights on fast-growing regions such as India, China, Russia and the Middle East, as well as Western Europe, where its plans include 20 standalone food stores in Paris.

M&S revealed details of the global drive at an investor and analyst presentation in the French capital which will become the group’s group’s largest food market outside of the UK.

The ambitious plans come as M&S continues to struggle in its domestic UK market, with trading figures for the final quarter of its financial year next week expected to show another decline in general merchandise (GM) sales.

The beleaguered GM division, which includes fashion and homeware, saw like-for-like sales fall 2.1% over the crucial Christmas season, marking a tenth successive quarterly decline despite concerted attempts to turn around its fortunes with new senior personnel and a marketing push.

Under-pressure boss Marc Bolland is hoping a recent website revamp will help sales bounce back, while the overseas expansion comes as part of plans launched three and a half years ago to transform the retail giant into an international, multi-channel retailer.

He said: “Our strategy of becoming an international, multi-channel retailer is more relevant than ever before because of the strong growth potential of international markets.”

M&S returned to France in 2011 after a decade away and Mr Bolland’s move to grow the retailer’s footprint has seen its overseas store estate increase to 455 from 337 when he took over at the helm in 2010.

As well as the food stores planned for Paris, M&S wants to roll out a food offering in Europe through its franchise partnerships and is expanding dedicated lingerie and beauty shops throughout the Middle East and India − areas offering “great opportunities”, according to Mr Bolland.

It will also open flagship stores in major cities, supporting its “bricks and clicks” approach. However, the group revealed plans to find a local partner to help it tackle the Chinese market, while also refocusing its 15-strong estate in Shanghai on flagship and central stores.

Retail experts at Shore Capital Stockbrokers said: “M&S needs to keep the food, home, beauty, online and international plates spinning whilst demonstrating ongoing progress in core UK ladieswear. Here progress is undoubtedly being made, but it is glacial.”

Analysts expect annual pre-tax profits at M&S to fall to £626m, which will see the 130-year-old company overtaken for the first time by rival Next, which last month announced profits of £695m.



Dan Poulter with employees at B&Q

A Suffolk MP has said he will do what he can to try and prevent a B&Q store closing down with the potential loss of around 100 jobs.

Helen Drage,  co-founder of Drage & Tozer Opticians.

Sudbury opticians firm Drage and Tozer, founded in 1995 by Helen Drage and Sandra Tozer, has celebrated 20 years in business by expanding into new premises.

Val Carrol, director of healthcare at Beckett Financial Services, receives the company’s Commendation at the Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts awards from comedian Tim Vine.

Bury St Edmunds-based Beckett Financial Services has been recognised by a national financial services publication for delivering outstanding levels of customer satisfaction to its healthcare clients.

Meadows Montessori School pupils Spencer, Luke and Ben, aka the Flower Pot Men, with The Apprentice 2014 winner Mark Wright who presented their trophy for winning the Best Community Engagement category of the Fiver Challenge Awards , supported by Virgin Money.

Pupils from the Meadows Montessori school in Ipswich have been named among the winners in the Fiver Challenge, run by the Young Enterprise programme.

From left, Michael Francis, store manager, Colchester, Robert Smith, dealer principle, Colchester and Norwich, and  Emmanuel Greffier, store manager, Norwich with the Bang & Olufsen UK Partner of the Year trophy.

The team at the Bang & Olufsen store in Colchester is celebrating after beating off competition from 60 other dealerships to be named as the audio equipment firm’s UK Partner of the Year.

Kelly-Anne Byres of Poppy Nursing and Care Services.
Picture: Stephen Waller  www.stephenwaller.com

Five businesses and organisations from Suffolk and north Essex have been named among the finalists in the 2015 East of England Business Champions awards.

The Nestle Purina site in Sudbury

A Sudbury pet food factory is under increasing pressure to tackle foul odours as it is revealed an environmental regulator recorded 40 stench complaints since last month.

Ipswich Building Society general sales manager Jo Leah and her friend Libby Smith, also from Ipswich,preparing for their charity challenge involving a 100km trip down the Zambezi River.

A executive from Ipswich Building Society will today be starting a challenge to travel 100km along Africa’s Zambezi River in aid of a local charity.


Fairline testing facility at Ipswich.

The new owner of Fairline Boats has expressed confidence in the business, despite laying off more than 100 of its production staff.

Mark and Tessa Riley, of Riley and Riley Jewellers in Ipswich, were runners-up in the Ipswich Independents business competition.

The finalists in the Ipswich Independents Award 2015 have been announced.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages