Joe Fresh eyes markets beyond North America

RetailME Bureau

Canada-based value fashion label Joe Fresh, backed by Canadian grocery giant Loblaw Companies, has signed three separate deals which will extend its reach beyond North America.

Joe Fresh sources said it has partnered with Saudi Arabian conglomorate Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co, Dubai-based Retail Arabia International and South Korean retailer Origin & Co to open a total of 141 retail stores throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Europe.

“These first international agreements signify an important milestone for Joe Fresh as we build on the strong foundation we have established at home in Canada,” says Joe Mimran, creative director and founder of Joe Fresh.

Joe Fresh’s expansion comes a year and a half after an agreement to put the Joe Fresh brand in many JC Penney stores in the US. The label is available in more than 340 retail locations across Canada, and in six freestanding stores in New York.

The deals also mark a rare success story for a Canadian company in the competitive retail market here.

An influx of US retailers into Canada, including discounting giant Target, has created a competitive retail arena that has left some big companies struggling. Sears Canada announced January it was shedding about 624 jobs in its full-line stores, while Best Buy’s Canadian unit recently said it would lay off 950 full-time employees, or just over 5% of its workforce.

“International markets are an important avenue of growth for Joe Fresh, combined with our own retail stores, in-store shops and burgeoning Canada e-commerce business,” observes Mario Grauso, COO of Joe Fresh Apparel Canada.