MARKS & SPENCER: new openings planned in Northern Europe
AS PART of its plan to open 250 stores outside its home country by 2016, leading UK distributor of intimate apparel Marks & Spencer announced the opening of its first franchised store in Norway in November 2014. Located in Oslo, the store will offer only food products but the Norwegian master franchiser, Pocos Group, plans to open seven more stores in the country. The chain is also returning to Finland, with the opening of a 10’000 m2 store in Helsinki on October 9. The new master franchiser in Finland, S Group, is set to open six Marks & Spencer stores at different locations in Finland within the coming twelve months. The chain’s last store there was closed in 2001.
In contrast to the original attempt, aborted in 2001, to build an international network with a mix of owned and franchised stores, the current expansion project, which focuses exclusively on franchised stores, promises to prove successful.