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BHS Owner Plans Major Overseas Expansion

Al Mana has big plans in the pipeline for BHS.

The Qatari-based business—which bought the British department store’s global franchise business and brand in June, renaming it BHS International Ltd.—is negotiating with a number of potential partners to expand BHS into 10 new countries throughout Africa, Europe and the Middle East. A new department store in Qatar is also in the works.

BHS has operated overseas on a franchise basis since 1985 and there are currently 61 stores operating in 14 countries, including Russia, Malta and Saudi Arabia, run by 11 partners.

David Anderson, managing director of BHS International, has highlighted the “strong growth” achieved overseas by the retailer 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,” he told the Daily Mail. “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.”

It’s been six months since BHS entered administration and just two since the last of the 88-year-old chain’s U.K. stores shut up shop for good. In a surprise twist of fate, the retailer relaunched online in the U.K. in September, with no affiliation to former owners Dominic Chappell or Sir Philip Green. currently sells a selection of homewares, lighting and holiday-specific items, but the offering is expected to include fashion and childrenswear in the coming months.

Last week, British MPs unanimously voted to strip Green of his knighthood for the part he played in the collapse of BHS, which led to the loss of thousands of U.K. jobs.