Marks and Spencer Group to expand in Central and Eastern Europe
Marks and Spencer Group plc announced recently that it has entered into a joint venture with its franchise partner COMS, a.s., in order to expand in Central and Eastern Europe. According to the information provided, COMS, a.s., currently operates 13 Marks & Spencer stores in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia and Lithuania and the new joint venture is looking to set up around 30 stores in these countries as well as in Estonia over the coming years.
COMS, a.s. has been a franchise partner of Marks & Spencer since 1996 and has exclusive rights to operate Marks & Spencer stores in the countries under a franchise agreement. Carl Leaver, director of international business at Marks & Spencer, commented on this development, saying, “There is a great opportunity to open many more Marks & Spencer stores across Central and Eastern Europe and grow a real presence in the region. The Marks & Spencer brand is already well-recognised in the Czech Republic and there is increasing demand for good quality, great value products in markets like Slovakia.”
Marks & Spencer is one of the UK’s leading retailers selling clothing as well as home products and food. The company employs more than 75,000 people and has over 600 stores in the UK and over 275 stores in 39 territories around the world.