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By George, Asda looking to franchise apparel brand overseas

LONDON — Wal-Mart Stores' Asda division Asda confirmed that it was exploring opportunities to franchise its George at Asda range in markets overseas.

The company 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.”

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