International retail franchise operator Alshaya has reached an agreement to take control of the ongoing La Senza business in the UK.
Alshaya UK Ltd, a part of the Alshaya group, has signed the deal with La Senza’ UK administrators, KPMG, to acquire the exclusive franchise rights for the La Senza brand in the UK and to take over 60 of its stores.
The deal and subsequent plans for the business, which include new product collections and store redesigns, represent a planned investment of around £100m in the UK retail sector over the next two years by Alshaya.
The move secures 1,100 jobs and further deepens Alshaya’a long-standing links with the UK. The group is the international franchise partner for a wide range of British retail brands, including Mothercare, Debenhams, Boots, Next, River Island, Topshop, Miss Selfridge and The Body Shop.
Alshaya’s Executive Chairman, Mohammed Alshaya, holds an honorary CBE in recognition of his services in developing British/Arab business and the company has also created significant British retail export opportunities into Russia, Turkey and Central and Eastern Europe.
Alshaya said: "We are delighted to have reached an agreement to buy these La Senza stores – saving jobs, protecting a great brand for consumers and strengthening our UK presence and links. This is a strategic investment for us and a positive addition to our extensive international retail portfolio.
“Today’s announcement represents a first step in a long-term commitment to developing the La Senza UK business, which we believe has great potential."
Through franchise agreements elsewhere in the world for the Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and La Senza brands, Alshaya already has a strong partnership with Limited Brands Inc., the US-based owners of the La Senza brand.
The two companies state that they will work together closely to deliver ‘an enhanced La Senza customer experience’ in the UK.
Limited Brands International president Martin Waters said: “We are very pleased that Alshaya will be operating the UK franchise of La Senza, one of the world’s leading lingerie brands. We believe Alshaya is well placed to deliver a much improved customer experience to British consumers, in line with the La Senza brand proposition that is so successful elsewhere in the world.”
In all, Alshaya operates more than 55 international brands in 19 countries, employing over 22,000 people in its 2,000 plus stores. The company established a presence in the UK in 2011 when it opened Pinkberry, the leading frozen yogurt brand, with current locations in Selfridges and Westfield Stratford.