Asda takes George into the Middle Eastern market

Asda, the British arm of U.S. retailer Wal-Mart, is taking George to the Middle East. A franchise deal  has been signed with the Lebanese company Azadea Group that will expand the budget clothing brand to an as yet undisclosed number and location of stores to be opened in 2012.

In another agreement, Asda has made a deal with Sandpiper, a Channel Island-based company, to take the George franchise to Guernsey and Jersey. Again, there are no details as to the number and location of pilot stores, but customer response is expected to be strongly positive.

The second largest UK retailer behind Tesco, Asda reported last year that the company was looking to expand overseas with a few pilot stores. George clothing brand accounts for about half of all Asda’s sales of general merchandise, and the brand is already global, with Wal-Mart stores in seven countries carrying a large variety of  George clothing and accessories.

All of the parties concerned have expressed enthusiasm for the partnerships. The executive managing director of George,  Andrew Moore, said that customers all over the world are in the market for more affordable, quality merchandise, and working with two large and respected franchise businesses will provide just what those customers are looking for.

The chief executive of Sandpiper, Tony O’Neill, said his company was pleased to be part of the global expansion of the George franchise, as the brand is well known for quality and value. He referred to the brand as “award-winning” and “customer-winning” due to its popular designs and reasonable prices.

Azadea Group’s CO Said Dahar made similar comments, saying that they’re excited about the launch and sure that George will be a welcome addition for their Middle Eastern customers.

Asda has already put together a team at their base in Lutterworth to develop the new partnerships and establish, build and maintain the franchise in the planned new locations.

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