August 30, 2017 / 7:44 AM / a year ago

M&S in talks to transfer Hong Kong and Macau stores to franchise partner

(Reuters) - Marks & Spencer has opened talks to sell its wholly owned Hong Kong and Macau stores to franchise partner Al-Futtaim, the British company said on Wednesday.

A sign is displayed outside a Marks & Spencer store in London, Britain January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The food and clothing retailer said it has begun talks on the potential sale of the stores, which Al-Futtaim would continue to operate under the M&S franchise. The talks are expected to take several months to complete.

The move follows a strategic review by M&S last November, in which the company laid out plans to shut more than 80 stores at home and abroad as well as seek joint ventures and franchise partnerships to operate in fewer wholly-owned markets.

The Hong Kong and Macau stores would continue to trade as normal, the company said on its website. (

Al-Futtaim has worked in partnership with M&S since 1998 and today operates 43 M&S stores across seven markets in the Middle East, Singapore and Malaysia.

Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman

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