If anyone was resisting the idea that an inexorable globalization of retailing was taking place, then look no further than this week’s news from the UK high street. House of Fraser, owned by Icelandic investment firm Baugur and its financial vehicles—building shares and thought to be readying for a bid on US store group Saks–closed its historic Dickins & Jones store on London’s Regent Street in 2006. In the past month H&M and Banana Republic have taken up residence in the refurbished building, joining Armani Exchange, which opened just before Christmas. These Swedish, US, and Italian retailers are all international brands who see no national barriers to the potential for their expansion. Likewise, Marks & Spencer, following a similar deal in Greece and the Balkan states last month, has now entered into a joint venture with Coms, its existing franchise partner in Central and Eastern Europe.
Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes, it’s completely free.