Retailer BHS has revealed plans to grow its international business by launching in new countries.
In June, The Al Mana Group formed BHS International Limited, which acquired the international franchise business and BHS brand. The operational management team is based in London.
BHS operates franchise partnerships around the world. When The Al Mana Group purchased the business in June, there were 61 stores in 14 countries under the control of 11 franchise partners.
Example include: Malta (since 1988), Qatar (since 2000), Bahrain (since 1987), Russia (since 2004), Saudi Arabia (since 1987), Uzbekistan (since 2014), Jordan (since 2003), Libya (since 2009), Mongolia (since 2013) and Abu Dhabi (since 1987)
BHS International managing director David Anderson said: “Our international business has been operating since 1985 and it’s enjoyed strong growth in recent years.
“Under the new owner, we have ambitious plans to accelerate this growth. We are working closely with new and existing franchise partners that we are confident can do this. Since the new international business was formed in June, we have secured agreements with new partners in new territories, and are in discussions with many others.”
BHS is in the final stages of agreeing contracts with three new franchise partners. One is in Africa, another is in the Middle East and the third is in Europe. Between them, they represent a combined population of over 100 million people. There are also plans to open new state-of-the-art department stores, starting in Qatar.
David said: “In the countries we operate in outside of the UK, visiting shopping malls and stores is very much a leisure and family activity. Our franchise partners have made significant investment in their stores to ensure they provide an enjoyable shopping experience for their customers. We will help them build on this by providing a greater focus on market-specific products, and introducing new and exciting ranges.”
All ranges will continue to be designed in London, but there will now be a greater emphasis on providing franchise partners with products more tailored to the international customer.
In the UK, BHS relaunched on September 29 as an online retailer with a range of lighting and home furnishing products that constituted around 75% of the most popular online items sold before it went into administration earlier this year.
BHS has since added new ranges to its offering including kitchen and dining ware.
It has also developed an online platform which it believes will be one of the most customer-friendly in the market. The ordering and checkout procedure has been streamlined and is responsive to device. Further improvements to capability and functionality are being developed and implemented.
BHS International managing director David Anderson