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John Lewis Singapore stores ‘trading well’

UK department store operator John Lewis has hinted at its trading performance in Asia as it announced another offshore expansion – into the Netherlands.

John Lewis chose Singapore as the first of 15 new international markets it plans to expand into back in March this year.

Two John Lewis Singapore concessions were opened inside Robinsons department stores, last July, primarily selling homewares.

Andy Street, John Lewis MD, told the Mail newspaper overnight: “Our existing shop-in-shops in Singapore, the Philippines and South Korea have been well received and are trading well.”

John Lewis opened 14 shop-in-shops across Singapore and the Philippines this year, and seven shop-in-shops in South Korea last year.

The first Dutch shops will open in spring 2016 at de Bijenkorf’s flagship stores in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague – its first stores in continental Europe.

And more may follow, especially in Asia.

‘Whilst we remain committed to our UK physical expansion we hope to announce more international collaborations in 2016,” said Street.

The UK retailer was founded in 1864, but until last year it had never traded outside England, Scotland and Wales. In 2012 it entered into a partnership with South Korea’s Shinsegae Department Store Co, selling linen and homewares in seven stores.

Street said in March he expected to confirm deals to open in a further five foreign markets in 2015. That could mean four more markets to be announced over the next six weeks.

“We have been very successful in Korea. We are really pleased and surprised that, in a market where the John Lewis brand isn’t really known, it has cut through.”

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