Newly re-launched BHS has announced plans to grow its international business.
This will involve launching in new countries and plans to open new state-of-the-art department stores, starting in Qatar. All ranges will continue to be designed in London, but there will be a greater focus on providing its franchise partners with products more tailored to the international customer.
The business says that the "style, value and quality synonymous with the brand will underpin the product range." BHS International has strengthened relations with a significant number of its traditional supplier base to support that offer.
BHS has a successful and profitable international business already, operating franchise partnerships around the world. The first international franchise store opened in 1985, and it currently has 61 stores in 14 countries under the control of 11 franchise partners.
BHS International managing director David Anderson explained. "Our international business has been operating since 1985 and it’s enjoyed strong growth in recent years.
"Under the new owners, we have ambitious plans to accelerate this growth, and working closely with new and existing franchise partners we are confident we can do this; since the new International business was formed in June, we have secured agreements with new partners in new territories, and are in discussions with many others.
“In the countries we operate in outside of the UK, visiting shopping malls and stores is very much a leisure and family activity. Our franchise partners have made significant investment in their stores to ensure they provide an enjoyable shopping experience for their customers.
"We will help them build on this by providing a greater focus on market-specific products, and introducing new and exciting ranges.”
In the UK, BHS re-launched on September 29 as an online retailer with a range of lighting and home furnishing products that constituted around 75% of the most popular online items sold before it went into administration earlier this year.
Over the coming weeks BHS.com will add new ranges to its offering including kitchen and dining ware, and clothing items. It has also developed a new online platform which it believes will be one of the most customer-friendly in the market; the ordering and checkout procedure has been streamlined; it is responsive to device; with further improvements to capability and functionality being developed and implemented.