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C.Banner seeks stake in House of Fraser parent

Hong Kong-listed international integrated retailer C.Banner International Holdings is seeking a strategic co-operation with a chain of luxury department stores in China with the aim of acquiring an interest in the Highland Group.
C.Banner, which is the second-largest retailer of mid-to-premium women’s formal and leisure footwear in China, is exploring opportunities with Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store regarding Highland Group Holdings, which runs department store House of Fraser in the UK and Ireland.
“This is a continuation of the company’s global branding strategy following our recent acquisition of toy retailer Hamleys,” says C.Banner chairman Chen Yixi.
He says C.Banner plans to open the first Hamleys flagship store in Nanjing in September, and is discussing with the House of Fraser Group the possibility of having the outlet based in the Oriental Fraser Department Store. It would provide centralised management services in return for a concession fee.
The Hamleys flagship would serve as a template for expansion in China. C.Banner seeks to replicate the Hamleys in-store experience through interactive play, events and special demonstrations, as well as broaden its product offerings for families in response to China’s new two-child policy.
The company will also seek to establish brand offerings across different retail formats and multiple channels, enhance its brand portfolio and distribution network, and identify opportunities for strategic expansion, including retail outlets and department stores.

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