Tesco just can't keep out of the US

The supermarket is planning to open seven stores selling its cheap-as-chips F&F clothing range on the East Coast.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 16 Apr 2014

Supermarket clothing lines: strangely popular with fashion editors circa 2005/06, not so hot since. Despite various collaborations – Gok Wan and Sainsbury’s, for example – they haven’t really been able to shake their ‘a bit naff’ reputation since.

So it’s rather a surprise to hear Tesco has decided not only to open a load of stores devoted entirely to its F&F clothing range – but that it’s going to do it in the US, the country it fled from with its tail between its legs not six months ago. Is this a foreign adventure to take people's minds off how badly everything is going at home?

This time the risk is more limited because it’s doing it under a franchise agreement with partner Retail Group of America. It has seven shops planned for this year, in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Newport, Virginia, said Retail Week this morning.

Apparently there are already 43 F&F franchise stores in 10 countries: the first was in Armenia but there are others in Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and Georgia.

‘We look forward to growing our presence with F&F in a number of key markets,’ said Simon Marshall, chairman at Retail Group of America. Each to their own, we suppose…

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