Supermarket retailer Tesco is to expand its F&F clothing brand into new markets across the Middle East and Central Asia, with plans to open more than 50 franchise stores over the next five years.
The UK’s largest retailer said it will work with existing franchise partner Al Hokair to open stores in Kazakhstan and Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Up to six stores are planned this year, with the first one due to open in the Kazakh capital, Astana, next month.
In the Middle East, F&F will work with Dubai-based Al Futtaim to open stores, starting from this autumn. The new stores will take the same format as the first franchise store that opened in Saudi Arabia last May.
“We’ve had a strong year and our combination of good quality and contemporary design appeals to customers across the world,” said F&F chief executive Jason Tarry. “I’m excited to see F&F moving into these new markets, where there is an established and growing retail industry.
“Franchising enables us to combine the strength of the F&F brand with the local knowledge and expertise of our partners.
“This announcement builds on the success of the first franchise stores and demonstrates our commitment to growing the brand internationally through this model – I’m confident these new deals will accelerate our growth.”
F&F clothing is sold in 12 countries, including the Czech Republic, Poland and Saudi Arabia. In the UK, F&F sales increased by 9% to more than GBP1bn (US$1.52bn) over the last year.