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Voici La Mode (Cyprus) to Develop Marks & Spencer (UK) Franchise in Romania

21 Sep 2017 - Cyprus-based group Voici La Mode said on Wednesday it is taking over British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) franchise in Romania and plans to open new stores in the near future.

Voici La Mode is taking ownership of Marks & Spencer's three stores in Bucharest located in Baneasa Shopping City, Plaza Romania and Bucuresti Mall, it said in a press release.

However, the group did not agree to buy the remaining three stores of Marks & Spencer in Romania, so the retailer decided to close them. The stores were located in the eastern city of Iasi, in the Black Sea port city of Constanta and in Bucharest.

In November 2016, Marks & Spencer announced the closure of all of its stores in Romania as part of a major plan to exit 10 loss-making owned markets.

In Romania, Marks & Spencer operated six stores and employed some 84 people, according to data posted on the Romanian finance ministry's website.

In 2016, Marks & Spencer Romania narrowed its net loss to 18.4 million lei ($4.8 million/ 4 million euro) from 81.2 million lei in 2015 and posted a 43.1 million lei turnover, up 30% on the year, finance ministry data showed.

In October 2015, Marks & Spencer decided to close 12 stores in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Bulgaria. Voici La Mode Group is a family business, founded in the early 1950ís by the late Artemisia Panayiotou who first introduced the products of Marks & Spencer in Cyprus, in 1960.

Today, Voici La Mode Group owns and operates 16 retail locations - five Marks & Spencer stores in Nicosia, five stores of French menís fashion retailer CELIO - in Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos, six Cafť la Mode restaurants - in Nicosia and Limassol, as well as other smaller enterprises.

Voici La Mode employs more than 300 people and serves around 10,000 customers each week.