Marks & Spencer is poised to open stores in Beijing and Guangzhou - but will reduce its presence in greater Shanghai.
Currently M&S has around 15 stores in China, but this will be the first time it has entered the country’s capital city. The high street giant said it had “firm intent” to enter those “key cities” from next financial year.
The British retailer is planning to shut five “supporting” stores in Shanghai - the most populous city in the world - by August this year as part of a review of the store portfolio “to ensure it’s best aligned with its strategic growth plans”.
In addition the FTSE 100 business will revamp its flagship on the city’s West Nanjing Road this autumn.
The retailer, which had something of a false start to its Chinese ambitions, has had more success of late, particularly with its launch on Chinese etail behemoth TMall.
M&S is also investing in its Hong Kong operation, and will expand its food-only stores “at convenient travel and city locations” next financial year. This plan comes on the back of three successful openings last year “which have seen sales per square foot in line with its best performing food stores in the UK”.
The retailer will also grow its presence in Macau with the opening of a new 1,000 square metre store at The Venetian Mall in November 2015.
Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director of marketing and international, said: “Last year, we reaffirmed our commitment to our Greater Chinese business and set out clear strategic plans. Today we can share more details of our continued investment across our priority markets of China, Hong Kong and Macau.
“This includes the modernisation of our flagship stores, entering new key cities, growing our Hong Kong Food store portfolio and expanding our reach across China through new sites on TMall.com and JD.com.”