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Banana Republic recruits franchise expert to drive global expansion

US fashion retailer Banana Republic has poached Karen Millen’s Jenay Hassani to head up its franchise operations across the Middle East and North Africa, after Drapers revealed the Gap-owned retailer’s plans for a major expansion in the region.

Hassani had worked at Karen Millen for more than 10 years, most recently as international franchise manager. She left to join Banana Republic in June and is responsible for driving the company’s business across Turkey, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

As Drapers revealed in February, the retailer is plotting expansion across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) through as many as 100 additional franchise stores, with the operation to be managed from the UK.

Hassani is the main point of contact between franchisees in her markets and the UK-based franchise team, reporting into Facundo Ginobili, general manager of franchise at Banana Republic.

A spokeswoman for the retailer said: “Jenay was the ideal candidate based on her successes in her past roles and her knowledge of the EMEA markets.”

Banana Republic has more than 700 stores across 26 countries, including 71 franchise shops. In the UK it trades from nine stores.

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