Fashion brand George, of Lutterworth, expands to Europe and Middle-East
Fashion brand George is continuing its rapid overseas growth by expanding the online business to Europe and opening stores in the Middle East.
The Lutterworth clothing label, which is sold in Asda stores throughout the UK, will start delivering items ordered through its website, George.com, to 24 European countries between now and next summer.
George has also unveiled plans to open several franchise stores in the Middle East starting next month following on from the success of a pilot franchise outlet in Abu Dhabi's Al Wahda mall.
It will mean the clothing brand will be soon available in 35 countries around the world because George is already sold through branches of Walmart, which owns Asda, in seven countries outside Europe and the Middle East.
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Andrew Moore, Asda's chief merchandising officer for George and general merchandise said: "Our international growth strategy is focused on three key areas: franchising, online expansion and leveraging our relationship with Walmart using their existing stores to sell George UK products, as well as their own ranges.
"We have invested heavily in developing the George brand – improving the customer experience online and in store, recruiting the best talent and growing our in-house design team significantly and ensuring we are developing and sourcing high-quality ranges.
"Customers globally, not just in the UK, are looking for real value in these challenging times and that's exactly what we will be offering to millions more customers around the world."
George, which is the third largest clothing business in the UK, with global sales of £2 billion, was started more than 20 years ago by George Davies.
Having purchased its Istanbul-based supplier, Gaat, last year, George has rapidly sped up production of its clothes so they can be on the rack six weeks after the first designs are produced in Lutterworth.
Mr Moore has also announced that George.com has become the UK's fastest growing online fashion retailer. The European expansion of the online brand will start with Luxembourg, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark and Spain.
In the Middle East, the next franchise will be opened in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), followed by a second store in Amman in May.
Further stores in the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar will open later in the year.
At the end of last year, Mr Moore confirmed George ranges would be sold in Canada and Japan following Chile.