Marks & Spencer will tomorrow open its world-first lingerie and beauty store in Saudi Arabia.
The store, operated under an existing franchise partnership with Al Hokair, will open at Khurais shopping mall in Riyadh. This will be followed by the opening of a 370 square metre store at the Mall of Dhahran in Dammam on 17 March.
The new concept will capitalise on the growth opportunities in the Saudi lingerie and beauty markets, where the retailer’s lingerie sales increased by 17% during the last year.
As part of its ongoing strategy to become a leading international retailer, M&S plans to open a further eight standalone stores in Saudi Arabia in the next two years, in addition to its two new full-line stores in Jeddah and Riyadh opening this summer.
The retailer will also roll out its new Marks & Spencer Lingerie & Beauty stores in India, as part of its growth strategy to establish a leadership position in the market with its joint venture partner Reliance Retail.
The first 450 square metre standalone store will open at the Infinity II shopping mall in Mumbai in the coming months and follows the recent launch of its new Lingerie & Beauty departments at its flagship stores in Mumbai and Delhi.
During the third quarter, M&S’s lingerie sales in India increased by 35% on the previous year.
M&S director of International Jan Heere said: “Our international customers have really embraced our lingerie and beauty products – our exceptional quality and service, combined with our extensive breadth of styles, shapes and sizes set us apart from the competition.”
"The standalone concept we’ve unveiled capitalises on the growth opportunities in the lingerie and beauty markets in Saudi Arabia and India, making our new concept stores an exciting new shopping destination in their own right. The aspirational format with a smaller footprint also allows us to access even more prime positions in leading shopping malls in line with our international growth strategy to have a presence in these key retail locations,” he added.
M&S said its new concept stores will showcase “the very best of M&S’s exceptional quality, stylish lingerie”, with edited collections to showcase the season’s key trend of florals and pale tones.