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Landmark may increase New Look stake

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Landmark Group, a privately held Dubai-based retailer, may increase its stake in New Look Group Plc to more than 15 per cent after the UK-based women’s fashion chain failed to attract a buyer last week.

“Our intention is to raise our stake significantly if the price is right and if New Look decides to replace existing debt,” informed Micky Jagtiani, chairman and chief executive officer of Landmark. Jagtiani said he would like a stake “a bit higher’” than 15 per cent.

Meanwhile, New Look is expected to pursue a franchise model in emerging markets. Its target list is likely to include China and India, where New Look founder Tom Singh has extensive connections. The fashion retailer has identified six new markets that could help it deliver explosive growth over the next five years.

The Middle East also remains a key focus for expansion. The retailer signed a five-year franchise agreement with Landmark earlier this year and has plans to open 40 stores there. Landmark owns about 4 per cent of New Look.

Carl McPhail, managing director for marketing and operations, confirmed that the rollout will cover two more countries in Western Europe, as well as a push into emerging markets.

According to media reports, New Look has the potential to ultimately replicate the global scale of rivals H&M and Inditex, which have 1,345 and 3,245 stores worldwide, respectively.

– Bangalore Bureau

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