The expansion plan between the Apparel Group and Clarks aligns with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, an ambitious initiative focused on economic diversification and the advancement of key sectors such as retail to bolster the country’s economy.

Neeraj Teckchandani, CEO of Apparel Group, said: “This strategic partnership with Clarks signifies a monumental step in our journey towards offering an unparalleled retail experience in the KSA. Clarks, with its rich heritage and reputation for quality, perfectly complements our diverse brand portfolio. We are excited to bring this iconic British brand closer to customers in the region.”

The new Clarks stores in Saudi Arabia will showcase a wide range of products, including their globally recognised Originals line and an exclusive collection of comfortable footwear. This expansion enables Clarks to reach a broader audience and meet the growing demand for high-quality footwear in Saudi Arabia and beyond. It also provides customers with greater access to Clarks’ renowned craftsmanship and timeless designs.

The partnership between Apparel Group and Clarks is poised to reshape the retail landscape in Saudi Arabia, offering consumers an elevated shopping experience and access to a wider selection of premium footwear options.

In March 2021, private equity firm LionRock Capital Partners confirmed the completion of its acquisition of a controlling stake in Clarks in a GBP100m (US$139.2m) deal.

It came after Clarks said in November 2020 its company voluntary arrangement (CVA) had been approved by the required majority of its unsecured creditors.

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Earlier that year, speculation began that Clarks was reportedly planning the closure of 50 stores as part of such a CVA, with the company understood to have started discussions with landlords over the potential switch to a ‘turnover rent’ model as part of its restructuring towards the end of the month.