Lakeland to expand Middle East presence

Lakeland has confirmed that it is stepping up its presence overseas as well as continuing to roll out stores in the UK.

Lakeland to expand Middle East presence

The kitchenware and home solutions chain already has shops in Dubai and Bahrain, and two weeks ago opened in Qatar as well.

Marketing director Tony Preedy told “We have two more in the pipeline in the Middle East, but the speed at which they open will be a function of local prevailing conditions. One is planned for the UAE and a second for Dubai – and one is also planned for Oman.”

He said that the product mix would be very similar to that in UK stores: “The best sellers over here are best sellers overseas. Products are popular because they’re useful and solve the same problems.”

As part of a £10m investment over five years, Lakeland is also poised for a string of new UK openings in the weeks ahead. Stores in the Harlequin Centre in Watford, in Hereford and in garden centres at Bridgemere and Woodlands near Leicester will all be open by the end of May.

“Basically we’re opening one a week in the UK for a month,” said Preedy. He added that the company planned to invest in its flagship store in Windermere this year too.

Lakeland, which saw profits surge by 140% in 2009, says bakeware is still a key performer, with sales more than doubling over the last two years.

Sales of decorating and icing products are up 70% year on year, while silicone bakeware has risen by a staggering 1,200%.

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