Walmart & ASDA Have Plans for George In New Markets

By George, Asda looking to franchise apparel brand overseas

Walmart’s Asda announced Monday plans to roll out its first fashion forward Private Brand George stores overseas in a bid to establish the fashion label as a global brand. The move comes not long after Canadian retailer Loblaws opened its Joe Fresh Stores in New York City.

Walmarts’ Asda division is exploring opportunities to franchise its George at markets overseas.

Asda expects to announce its first overseas franchising partner in the next few months with the intention of establishing a small number of pilot stores in the Middle East in the first half of 2012.

George currently accounts for around half of Asda’s general merchandise sales and is already a growing global brand through Walmart stores in seven countries worldwide, the company reported.

Andy Clarke, CEO and president of Asda, comments: “George is a key driver in our ambition to grow our general merchandise businesses.

“True value for money isn’t just something on the minds of UK customers; getting the best quality at affordable prices resonates with shoppers worldwide. George is already a global business and franchising is an exciting growth opportunity for us in new markets.”

Asda said George is now the UK’s third-best selling clothes label by volume, selling through its 364 supermarkets and 27 Asda Living general merchandising sites.

The brand was created 21 years ago by George Davies, who also set up the Per Una label at Marks & Spencer.

A team has been established at the George base in Lutterworth to establish, build and manage franchise partnerships.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.