Tesco and BhS speed up foreign expansion


Two of Britain's leading retailers have announced plans to accelerate their international expansion. Tesco is spending pounds 77m buying two supermarket groups in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Meanwhile Storehouse has signed a franchise agreement with the Hong Kong giant Hutchison Whampoa to develop BhS in the Far East.

Tesco's deal strengthens its position in Central Europe. It already operates 45 stores under the Tesco name in Hungary. and last November bought a 76 per stake in Savia, which has 36 stores in Poland.

Tesco is buying the two companies from KMart and expects to complete the deal in April. The two companies control 13 stores with combined annual sales of pounds 140m last year, of which food accounts for a third.

Tesco said that the deals would enable it to grow both its food and non- food businesses in Central Europe; the economies of both the Czech Republic and Slovakia were forecast to grow by 4-5 per cent this year.

Storehouse has signed an agreement with Hutchison Whampoa's retailing division AS Watson, to open the first branches of BhS in the Far East. Initially it plans to open two branches in Honk Kong and Shanghai, with plans for others in China and Taiwan.

Storehouse's international operations are becoming a significant factor in the group's development and now accounts for 6 per cent of group sales.

BhS now has 50 franchised branches in 12 countries, mainly in the Middle East and Southern Europe, including Spain and Greece. Mothercare has 112 outlets in 21 countries. It has a strong presence in the Far East, particularly Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

In May BhS will open its first branch in Moscow and Mothercare will open its third. Mothercare also has openings planned for Manila, Brunei and the Lebanon.

Storehouse said it was working on other deals that would take the company into new markets but declined to be drawn on details. Chief executive Keith Edelman said: "We see the expansion of our international franchise network as a very important part of our strategic growth plans. By the end of next year our international business should be approaching 10 per cent of group turnover."

Last week Storehouse paid Boots pounds 62.5m for Childrens World, the out of town childrens stores which it plans to convert to the Mothercare format. The company says it plans to stick to two main divisions. Its smaller Blazer menswear format is seen as non-core but is making modest profits.

Storehouse shares jumped 9p to 329p. Tesco shares closed 2p higher at 280.5p.

Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Helpdesk Analyst

£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...

Senior Helpdesk Analyst / Service Desk Co-ordinator

£27000 per annum + pension, 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ind...

Senior Pensions Administrator

£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Administrator

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London