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Marks & Spencer back in Paris after a decade
Nov '11
After keeping away from the French market for over a decade, British retailer Marks & Spencer Group PLC is once again eyeing the French market to kick start its expansion plans, and has thus launched an outlet in Paris.

The new outlet is a foundation of the company's plan to tap the new-age customers in a highly competitive market. It is the first step in the retailer's efforts to compete with domestic chains like Monoprix with its clothing and home-furnishing collections.

The retailer's return to the French market is also indicative of its intentions to decrease its reliance on its home market.

Marks & Spencer presently has a presence in 42 world markets, including in countries like Thailand and Saudi Arabia. Although the purchasing power of the French customer is low at present owing to the Eurozone crisis, Marks & Spencer believes that growth opportunities do exist in some segments like intimate wear.

The retailer winded up 38 outlets from the continental European market around 10 years ago, when it lost its sales owing to newly emerging fast-fashion companies.

However, the retailer's pull back from France, where it operated 18 outlets, drew lot of criticism. While politicians condemned the move on grounds of one adding to redundancy, the buyers also contested it on several other grounds.

The new Paris venue is only a peep at the overall product assortment of the retailer, as alongside other items, around 10 percent of the space in the new outlet has been allocated for the women's apparel collection.

The latest Marks & Spencer outlet is actually expected to draw more people to the retailer's new e-commerce site, where the entire range of the retailer's fashion collection can be viewed and bought, with extra charges on delivery and return of goods purchased through the site.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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