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Lakeland becomes 'Sheikland' as kitchenwear chain expands into Saudi
LAKELAND, the South Lakeland-based supplier of creative kitchenware, has opened its first store in Saudi Arabia – and says it plans to continue expanding in the Middle East.
The company, which earlier this year unveiled a £10m development programme in its home town, opened the latest foreign branch at the Mall of Dharhan, Dammam, in the ultra-conservative country’s eastern province.
Lakeland has already has a strong presence in the Middle East with stores in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.
Marketing director Tony Preedy said, “We’re delighted to have opened our first store in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and we are looking forward to opening more in the near future and expanding our presence in the Middle East.”
In the UK, Lakeland has a high street presence from Aberdeen in Scotland down to Truro in Cornwall.
The company’s latest British branch to open is at the Centre Court shopping centre, Wimbledon, which began trading mid May.
Lakeland’s 65th store, in Lakeside, Essex, is due to open this autumn.
In spring, Lakeland embarked on its first venture into Europe with the successful launch of www.lakeland.de to cater specifically for the German market.
The family-owned company’s Kendal expansion plans involve increasing its warehouse capacity by 50 per cent, creating more than 100 jobs over the next five years.
Lakeland says it also hopes to increase the number of its stores in the UK to 100.
The multi-million pound proposal comes in response to year-on-year growth for Lakeland, even through the recession.
In the run-up to last Christmas, the company had its best trading days in its history. Mr Preedy has put the rise largely down to the rise in online shoppers.
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