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John Lewis to debut in the Middle East

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John Lewis is to set foot in the UAE, strengthening the British department store retailer’s presence overseas, particularly in the Asian and Middle Eastern markets.

According to The Times, John Lewis will open a ‘shop-in-shop’ in the Robinson department store in the Dubai Festival City Mall come spring next year.

News of the move comes two months after the high street giant announced the opening of seven shop-in-shops within De Bijenkorf department stores in the Netherlands. The first three shops will open this spring in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Hague.

John Lewis said that its shop in Dubai will be the biggest international shop-in-shop, so far at around 15,000 sq ft in size. It will sell own-brand furniture, cookware, textiles, glassware and nursery products, as well as bed, bath, living and gift assortments. In essence, it will serve as the home and lifestyle section of the Robinson department store.

Dubai Festival City Mall is expanding under developments led by Al-Futtaim, the Middle East development and retail conglomerate, marking Robinson’s first department store in the UAE. At nearly 180,000 sq ft in size, the store will be the largest in the region when it is completed.

John Lewis is also extending its partnership with Robinson to Malaysia, with intent to open a 630 sq ft shop within the Robinson’s Kuala Lumpur store in March.

The Managing Director of John Lewis, Andy Street, is not currently looking to open full-scale department stores outside of the UK, and said:

“The success [of the existing international shop-in-shops] has given us the confidence to open in the Middle East and increase both the scale of the space and product assortment. This is an exciting time for Al-Futtaim’s Dubai Festival City Mall and we’re pleased that John Lewis will be part of the next phase of its development.”

Published on Monday 01 February by Veebs Sabharwal

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