Supermarket giant Tesco has announced plans to expand its F&F clothing brand with the opening of up to 50 franchise stores over the coming five years.
As the brand targets new and emerging markets, it will open stores across the Middle East and in Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Working with current franchise partner Al Hokair, Tesco also announced its partnership with Al Futtaim, a Dubai-based operator as it prepares to open stores using the same model as the first F&F store opened in Saudi Arabia last May.
F&F’s work with Al Hokair will see it open stores in Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan with up to six openings planned for this year starting with an opening in the Kazakh capital of Astana next month.
Last week, F&F unveiled its Autumn/Winter 2013 collection at Somerset House, the first time it has launched the international collection in London, highlighting its goals to become “a truly global fashion brand”.
Over the past year, sales at the brand have increased by nine per cent as UK sales exceeded £1 billion and Jason Tarry, CEO of F&F, said the strong figures are helping accelerate growth plans.
“We’ve had a strong year and our combination of good quality and contemporary design appeals to customers across the world,” Tarry said.
“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.”