Tesco has created a new franchise model to enter Saudi Arabia as it looks to turn its F&F fashion label into a major global brand.
Tesco has partnered with retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Al Hokair & Co (SJSC), which operates 1,300 stores under 80 brands, to open 19 stores in the Middle Eastern country.
F&F hopes to extend into a number of further countries using the same model but is yet to confirm locations. Tesco already operates F&F standalone stores in 11 countries across central Europe, Turkey and Asia.
The franchising model will see Tesco working with local partners to open standalone stores, stores within shopping malls and units within department stores and hypermarkets.
Tesco is targeting a leading clothing market share in Saudi Arabia, a position it holds in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.
F&F International chief executive Jason Tarry said: “The franchise model is a natural extension of the work we have been doing to turn F&F into a truly global fashion brand.
“We have in a very short time created a market leading fashion brand in Central Europe, now worth over £400m. Now we have the opportunity to grow our brand further, in markets where Tesco does not have a presence.
“Al Hokair is an excellent partner for F&F. It offers local expertise, knowledge and franchise experience that will really make a difference for local customers.”
Tesco is increasing the number of venture brands – own label products under separate brand names – in its UK stores and F&F is its “most advanced” brand overseas.
SJSC chief executive Simon Marshall said: “F&F will augment and enhance our portfolio of international brands and has the potential to become one of the leading fashion brands in Saudi Arabia.”
The first F&F franchise is planned to open later this year. F&F designs its clothing from its headquarters in Welwyn.