Leading supermarket group Asda is to launch an international franchise model for its clothing brand George, it has been announced today.
Asda agreed deals with two global franchise companies, Lebanon-based Azadea Group and SandpiperCI based in Jersey, to run George stores in the Middle East and the Channel Islands respectively.
It is the retailer’s intention to open a small number of pilot George stores by the end of this year, with further roll-out to follow if these trials prove successful.
Andrew Moore, George Executive Managing Director comments: “We are working with two of the world’s most respected franchise businesses to establish the new George stores.
“Our International team will benefit from the vast franchise experience both companies have from the successful partnerships they operate with many other apparel brands.”
George has already been given some global exposure through Asda’s parent company Walmart which features the brand in seven countries worldwide, and the clothing label now represents around half of Asda’s total general merchandise sales.
A team has been established at the George headquarters in Lutterworth specifically focused on establishing global franchise partnerships, so it is likely that these deals will not be the last agreed by Asda.
International expansion is a priority for most major UK retailers this year with domestic sales remaining sluggish, and the Middle East, along with the Asia, is one of the most attractive markets at present in terms of cash rich consumers.
Said G. Daher, CEO of Azadea Group, commented: We are excited about our partnership with George and we are looking forward to its launch and development in the Middle East.
“We are certain that the new George stores will bring our customers a wide range of affordable and fashionable product offerings.”