House of Fraser to open first stores overseas with Middle East expansion

HOUSE of Fraser is to expand into the Middle East as the retailer attempts to cash in on the popularity of designer brands in the region.

The chain could open its first new stores in spring 2012 after sealing a deal with Retail Arabia International.

It has 62 stores in the UK and Ireland and House of Fraser chief executive John King said: “We are delighted to announce our plans to take the House of Fraser brand to the Middle East.”He added: “This forms a key element of our growth plans for the business, combined with the expansion of our own brands and the development of our multi-channel platform, both nationally and internationally.”

King said House of Fraser had significant opportunities in key markets through its position as a premium department store which could provide big brands and concession partners entry into new markets. “We look forward to a long relationship with Retail Arabia International,” he said.

The company is looking at Cairo, Riyadh, Jeddha, Dharan, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Doha as cities for possible expansion.

Retail Arabia International is a new venture of Daud Investment’s subsidiary Daud Arabian and Gulf General Investment.

Managing director and chief executive Nabil Daud said: “This is a very exciting step for Retail Arabia International.”

In the year to January, the retailer is expected to generate earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of about £70m.