KUWAIT. Alshaya, the leading international retail franchise operator, has announced that it has today reached agreement to take control of the ongoing La Senza business in the UK.
Under an agreement with KPMG, the administrators to La Senza UK, Alshaya UK Limited, which is part of the Alshaya group of companies, has acquired the exclusive franchise rights for the La Senza brand in the UK and 60 stores.
The move secures around 1,100 jobs and ensures the continuation of a strong and popular brand on the UK high street for its loyal customer base.
The deal and subsequent plans for the business, which include new product collections and store redesigns, represents a planned investment of around £100 million (US$155 million) in the UK retail sector over the next two years by Alshaya.
The acquisition further deepens Alshaya's long-standing links with the UK. The group is the international franchise partner for a wide range of British retail brands including Mothercare, Debenhams, Boots, Next, River Island, Topshop, Miss Selfridge and The Body Shop.
Alshaya’s Executive Chairman, Mohammed Alshaya, holds an honorary CBE in recognition of his services in developing British/Arab business and the company has also created significant British retail export opportunities into Russia, Turkey and Central and Eastern Europe.
Through franchise agreements elsewhere in the world for the Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and La Senza brands, Alshaya already has a strong partnership with Limited Brands Inc., the US-based owners of the La Senza brand. The two companies will work together closely on delivering an enhanced La Senza customer experience in the UK.
In all, Alshaya operates more than 55 international brands in 19 countries, employing over 22,000 people in its 2,000 plus stores. The company established a presence in the UK in 2011 when it opened Pinkberry, the leading frozen yogurt brand, with current locations in Selfridges and Westfield Stratford.
Commenting, Mohammed Alshaya, Executive Chairman of Alshaya Group in Kuwait, said: "We are delighted to have reached an agreement to buy these La Senza stores - saving jobs, protecting a great brand for consumers and strengthening our UK presence and links. This is a strategic investment for us and a positive addition to our extensive international retail portfolio. Today’s announcement represents a first step in a long-term commitment to developing the La Senza UK business, which we believe has great potential."
Martin Waters, President of Limited Brands International, said: “We are very pleased that Alshaya will be operating the UK franchise of La Senza, one of the world's leading lingerie brands. We believe Alshaya is well placed to deliver a much improved customer experience to British consumers, in line with the La Senza brand proposition that is so successful elsewhere in the world.”