Marks & Spencer to Open Three More Paris Stores by End of 2013

Marks & Spencer Group Plc (MKS), the U.K.’s largest clothing retailer, said it will open three more stores in and around Paris by the end of 2013 after it returns to France tomorrow with an outlet on the Champs Elysees.

A 6,900 square-meter (74,271 square feet) outlet at the So Ouest mall will be the company’s largest in the country when it opens in fall 2012, London-based Marks & Spencer said today in a statement. Stores at the Beaugrenelle mall and the Aeroville center in the northeast of Paris will follow in 2013 and two more shops are also planned in the city, the company said.

Marks & Spencer is returning to France after exiting the country a decade ago, Chief Executive Officer Marc Bolland said in April. The retailer, known for fashion advertised by 1960s model Twiggy and premium-priced ready meals, is seeking to increase sales to as much as 12.5 billion pounds ($19.4 billion) by fiscal 2014 as it expands abroad and bolsters its online offering.

The 1,400 square-meter Champs-Elysees unit will open tomorrow, selling women’s wear, lingerie and food. Marks & Spencer’s investment in the store will be relatively modest and very quickly profitable, Bolland said in April.

Marks & Spencer said in April it’s in advanced talks with SSP Group Ltd., a U.K. franchise partner, about opening Simply Food outlets in and around Paris. A search for suitable sites for the stores is continuing, the company said today.

French competitors are already reacting. Carrefour SA (CA), the world’s second-largest retailer after Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said in September it plans to open a gourmet store in Paris’s Place de la Madeleine. No date has been set for the opening.

Marks & Spencer has about 700 U.K. Marks & Spencer stores and more than 350 in 42 territories outside its home market.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Roberts in Paris at aroberts36@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at smarley1@bloomberg.net

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