Missguided pens franchise deal for Middle East expansion

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Missguded Middle East

Missguided is set to expand its business to the Middle East thanks to a new partnership deal with retail group Azadea.

The British clicks-to-bricks fashion retailer is poised to embark on an expansion through franchise with the roll out of stores, websites and click-and-collect services in the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.

The franchise agreement is regarded as the next step in Manchester-based firm’s global expansion plan, having already established a presence in France, Germany and the US.

“We are thrilled to introduce Missguided to the Middle East with a forward-thinking and creative fast-fashion experience,” Missguided chief executive Nitin Passi said in a statement.

“Alongside our partner Azadea, we will deliver a multi-touchpoint shopping journey with unique fashion concepts for every element of life.”

Azadea Group chief executive Said G Daher said: “We are proud to be the chosen partner to establish Missguided’s presence across the Middle East.

“Delivering differentiated concepts has been a core mission of ours for the past 40 years and our partners are essential for making this happen.

“With our shared values, millennial mindset and organisational excellence, we will create an exceptional lifestyle experience for our customers.”

The Retail Gazette has contacted Missguided for further details about the partnership.

Azadea has been operating across the Middle East and North Africa for 40 years and currently owns and operates over 50 international franchise concepts in fashion and accessories, food and beverage, home furnishings, sporting goods, multimedia, and beauty and cosmetics.

Founded in 2009, Missguided was an online-only retailer right up until last year, when it opened bricks-and-mortar stores in Kent’s Bluewater shopping centre and Westfield Stratford in east London.

Those stores opened during the same fiscal year in which it slipped into the red for the first time despite sales skyrocketing by 75 per cent, according to its Companies House report filed at the end of last year.

Sales had jumped to £205.8 million in the fiscal year ending March 26, 2017, boosted by a 40 per cent growth in online sales – with almost half of that coming from overseas markets.

However, operating profit slipped from £381,000 in 2016 to a £1.45 million loss, and total profit swung from £239,000 to a total loss of £1.39 million.

Since then, Missguided reportedly placed around 100 of its 800 jobs under review, with around 50 expected to be cut, as part of a cost-cutting and efficiency drive.

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