British high street giant Marks & Spencer said on Thursday that plans to sell stores in Hong Kong to franchisees have been scrapped and it will continue to run them as direct subsidiaries.

The franchise plan had been part of the worldwide shake-up of the stores group, including the sale of shops in continental Europe, announced by chairman and chief executive, Luc Vandevelde, earlier this year.

However, according to newspaper reports the idea has now been scrapped after a lack of interest in the 10 stores which are located in some of the territory's best shopping streets and malls.