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Reiss’s Sharma promoted to accelerate global expansion

Reiss has promoted its international director Sanjay Sharma to the newly-created role of commercial director to help grow sales to £250m through international expansion.

Sharma will take up his role with immediate effect and will recruit a replacement international director, as well as a UK retail director. Both will report into Sharma.

The 114-store premium menswear and womenswear retailer will open a second Hong Kong store in autumn 12, after its store in the city’s IFC mall beat first quarter sales and profit expectations. It will feature a similar concept to the IFC store, using a high-profile architect.

Reiss, which is “actively pursuing” expansion opportunities in Asia, will also focus on “new global metropolises” such as Hong Kong and Moscow, which are culturally similar markets, said Sharma, where an owned retail model with full control over product and retail experience can be implemented. This is preferable to a franchise set up.

Sharma said: “It’s David [Reiss’s] and my view that in certain high-profile cities such as Moscow and Hong Kong, you should own the experience directly. It’s important to execute this to the highest degree as they are now as important as traditional cities such as London, Paris and New York.”

He added: “Not only do these sites drive much higher profit, sales and volume but it’s about showcasing our brand at the highest level.”

Sharma added that the Reiss product would “travel well to most corners of the world” without needing major modification, though Reiss would consider “widening its offer” to account for climatic or local differences. “But the overall existing stock package resonates strongly,” he said.

Last week, Reiss opened its first store in Saudi Arabia, which will be followed by a second store in Riyadh at the Hayat Mall in April.

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