New Look to Open 40 Stores in Mideast

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RIYADH, 11 March 2007 — New Look, the leading UK fast fashion retailer, has announced the signing of a new Middle East regional franchise agreement with the Landmark GroupLandmark GroupLandmark Gulf Group
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 , which has emerged as one of the largest retail groups in the Middle East and India.

The agreement will involve the opening of 40 stores in different countries across the Middle East region including Saudi Arabia, in a staggered schedule over the next 5 years.

"In fact, the new stores will be located throughout the region, including the Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Jordan," Carl McPhail, New Look's managing director for marketing, operations and international, said.

New Look took the decision to further expand its franchise in the Middle East and to enlist its substantial presence in the Saudi market following the success of a trial store at Deira City Center in Dubai, which was opened late last year.

This was its first partnership with the Landmark GroupLandmark GroupLandmark Gulf Group
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 . A press statement released on this occasion here yesterday said that "the size and shop fit of these stores will reflect the latest store roll-out in UK, and will typically be between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet in space." The majority of stores will carry the full New Look product offer, encompassing ladies wear, footwear and accessories, lingerie, kids, well-known "Generation 915" and men's wear.

The first store in Saudi Arabia will open in Sept. 2007. Speaking on this occasion, McPhail said that "we are delighted to have signed this regional franchise agreement with the Landmark GroupLandmark GroupLandmark Gulf Group
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 , following the very successful opening of a trial store. We believe that there is strong demand across the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia, for New Look's exciting and fashionable offerings at great value, and believe that such demand will support the rollout of 40 stores over the next five years."

General Manager Mukesh Goswami has been entrusted with the task to head the Saudi operation. New Look currently has 568 stores in the UK and Eire, and 232 stores in France trading under the name Mim. In addition, New Look has eight branded stores in France and Belgium, and has recently opened a franchise store in Dubai. In the UK, New Look has a 4.3 percent market share, making it among the leading women's wear retailers in the UK.

New Look is now the number one retailer of women's shoes in the UK by volume. A total of 25 percent of British women have bought an item of outerwear from New Look– amounting to over six million customers, according to market researches published recently. New Look's competitors include H&M, Next, Top Shop and Dorothy Perkins. The average age of shoppers in New Look is 30. New Look's regional partner Landmark International is a division of the Landmark GroupLandmark GroupLandmark Gulf Group
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 .

Landmark operates successful fashion and lifestyle brands in the Middle East, North Africa and India. Using Landmark GroupLandmark GroupLandmark Gulf Group
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 's proven strengths in trading their own fashion and lifestyle brands, Landmark aims to be one of the foremost branded franchise operators in the region. Landmark has had a successful growth in the last 33 years with nearly 600 stores in 10 different countries with total retail space of six million square feet. It has already attracted a strong collection of international apparel and footwear brands since it began operations in 2004.

Source: Arabnews.com

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