Dubai-based Al-Futtaim has acquired Marks & Spencer (M&S) retail stores in Hong Kong and Macau for an undisclosed price.

Al-Futtaim is said to be M&S’ largest franchise partner since it first opened its store in Dubai, UAE, in 1998.

By acquiring 27 M&S stores in Hong Kong and Macau, Al-Futtaim will now operate 72 M&S stores located across 11 markets in Asia and the Middle East.

“We have substantially reshaped our international business, which has improved profitability and positioned us for growth.”

Al-Futtaim M&S’ sports lifestyle division vice-president Stephen Rayfield said: “We are delighted to strengthen our long-term partnership with M&S and expand Al-Futtaim’s international footprint to Hong Kong and Macau.

“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.”

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By GlobalData

The sale of retail stores is reported to be part of M&S’ strategic review process, where it proposed to primarily focus on its established franchise and joint venture partnerships and operate with fewer wholly owned markets.

M&S international director Paul Friston 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.”