La Senza

Posted by Mark

I was reading an article on Arabian Business the other day about ghost brands which is a term being used for franchises that come to the Gulf and do really well here while end up failing and closing down in their original home country. One of the brands hit by the recession was the UK lingerie chain La Senza. But, I just found out that Alshaya got involved and purchased 60 La Senza stores in the UK and helped save 1,100 jobs. That’s pretty cool. [Link]


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32 comments, add your own...


  1. wt says:

    That is pretty cool. Who’s the model in the ad?

  2. 3azeez says:

    I want to see Alshaya saving ONE job here in kuwait for a Kuwaiti.

    Never.

    A company built on government assistant and Kuwaiti citizens money yet gives nothing back.

    Now thats a true ‘modern’ Kuwaiti way for doing business.

  3. Fahed says:

    Kuwaiti retailer Alshaya has bought 60 La Senza UK stores, rescuing about 1,100 jobs, from the administrators of the stricken lingerie chain.

    Alshaya bought the shops and UK brand in a so-called pre-pack deal after KPMG was appointed administrator to the company on Monday.

    Another 84 stores and 18 concessions had closed, the administrators said, resulting in about 1,300 job losses.

    The company was owned by Lion Capital, which had announced 81 of the closures on December 30. The private equity company bought the business from Theo Paphitis, a star of the BBC business investment show Dragons’ Den, in 2006.

    Alshaya, which is an international franchise partner for a number of British retail brands including Mothercare, Debenhams, Boots and Next, said it planned to invest about 100 million pounds in the business.

    “This is a strategic investment for us and a positive addition to our extensive international retail portfolio,” executive chairman Mohammed Alshaya said in a statement.

    “This is the first step in a long-term commitment to developing the La Senza UK business, which we believe has great potential.”

    The group said it already had a strong relationship with the U.S.-based owner of the La Senza brand, Limited Brands Inc through operating franchises of its Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works shops, as well as La Senza, elsewhere in the world.

    La Senza’s rescue came on the same day as JD Sports Fashion snapped up Blacks Leisure, another victim of tough trading conditions on the high streets, in a pre-pack administration deal.

  4. daily says:

    Mmmm and meanwhile his cousin/ other family member is employing 12 people from New Zealand at 2500-3000 KD per month each, to ‘improve’ three private schools in Kuwait- no improvement has been seen…..and there are rumours of government assistance there too.
    After all why would anyone (Kuwaiti ) fork put approx 30,000 KD a month on salaries for 12 people who walk around doing a lot of talking and not much else- in between taking holidays abroad at every long or short vacation – when his maximum salary for a lowly teacher is only around 800 a month? This particular Mr Al Shaya is in effect paying for 12 peoples’ retirement and tour of the world- who’s laughing?

    As for La Senza- he probably only bought up what he could in the UK for a tax dodge- they are closing en masse ALL over ALL four countries which constitute the UK.

    • 3azeez says:

      I don’t know what you’re talking about… but the government is planning to hand couple of its public schools to the private sector in order to develop and new education scheme. Maybe this is related to what you’re talking about.

    • A reader says:

      more nonsense , is this the ” lets hate Alshaya Blog ” seriously is it any of your business what people do with theirs ? . There is an Arab saying that translate to ” he who only watches others eventually Die’s Distressed ” get a life and live it !!

    • aaa says:

      Haha it’s not for a tax dodge, who would buy a permanent investment to dodge a year of taxes. They wouldn’t buy unless they thought they could make money.

  5. From here says:

    Will we soon see the lubes in Kuwait that lesenza UK sells

  6. LizQ8 says:

    Well I thank Alahaya for all their stores and restaurants here. What would I do without them!

  7. daily says:

    No talking about private schools.
    Re Al Shaya and ‘I thank him for all his stores’…..

    He will employ minimum wage immigrants to work in his UK stores….can’t wait tho’ until he tries to put his Kuwaiti ‘you can’t have a refund for faulty goods but you can buy something else in one of my stores’ into practice in the UK….lol

  8. Moe from k says:

    Shaya single handily destroyed Kuwait’s retail environment. Taking all the best locations and closing the door for any newcomers or new business people.

    • Mark says:

      I’ve noticed something in Kuwait and thats a lot of people get jealous and spite success. It’s not just with alshaya but with other successful businesses. Instead of being proud to have a company like alshaya putting Kuwait on the map, you have people like who just want to trash them.

      Alshaya owns Avenues so obviously they’re going to want the prime locations for themselves. If he wants he can call it Alshaya Mall and have only his businesses inside, it’s up to him not you. Why aren’t you complaining about Tamdeen and 360? They have all the prime locations for their brands as well. It’s their mall so they can do that.

      This is business. Good businesses grow, they acquire brands and they expand. Do you know how many brands P&G own or Unilever? Here take a look http://unilever.com/brands/ and http://www.pg.com/en_US/brands/index.shtml Why don’t you send them some hate mail as well?

      • Moe from k says:

        Seeing as though Shaya is one of your sponsors I don’t expect a rational discussion on this issue. He’s destroyed the retail environment in Kuwait and stopped wealth creation amongst a whole new generation of unemployed Kuwaitis who may have great creative ideas but no opportunities in retail – which happens to be a significant driver of non oil derived economy in Kuwait.

        • Mark says:

          yeah take the easy way out, blame my point of view on a sponsor.

          You noticed how you haven’t yet stated any facts or examples? How did he destroy the retail environment? how did he stop wealth creation amongst a whole new generation of Kuwaitis? how has he stopped kuwaitis from coming up with creative ideas?

          Do you even live in Kuwait? Just take a look at the local created restaurants and see how they’re competing and in most cases doing better than alshayas brands.

          I don’t understand what you want alshaya to do? Are you asking him to shutdown his businesses or to stop expanding so that other people can start businesses? Yeah makes sense. Only in Kuwait does a guy want a business to close down so he can compete. Can you please call Ferrero while you’re at it and tell them to stop exporting Nutella to Kuwait. I’m planning on creating my own chocolate spread and don’t want to compete…

          • Vegemite says:

            Bugger Nutella.

            I want vegemite – in a decent size jar.

            Off the topic, but the lack of brains clearly demonstrated by ‘Moe from k’ doesn’t warrant weighing in on the issue.

        • aaa says:

          “a whole new generation of unemployed Kuwaitis” GET A JOB FIRST INSTEAD OF TRYING TO START A BUSINESS

      • aaa says:

        Yeah this is a well known thing, there was even a Kuwaiti show in Ramadan where a guy gets a genie to fulfill his wishes and he gets a house in Da7iya and a Ferrari. His friends get a hold of the genie and the genie asks “What do you want, cars? Houses?” And they all say “We don’t want anything, just take away his house and car” and the Genie says something to the effect that what the hell is wrong with you stop being idiots

  9. dezrtninja says:

    Some people are obsessed with other peoples money

  10. daily says:

    Mark- no not at all- don’t hate anyone. I despise the practice of not allowing people to have a refund for faulty goods and making them simply re-spend their money within his company and I despise that the school owning side of the family cheated customers and employees last year but as for financial success, I applaud that- even though the methods may be dubious.

    • aaa says:

      If it’s a faulty good they give you another one, I did it just the other day. Something I bought broke and they replaced it.

    • aaa says:

      you must work for them, you keep going back to their schools while the discussion started off at la senza. also you are just throwing around a lot of accusations. apparently they cheated EVERYONE!

  11. daily says:

    @aaa yes- but if you buy some clothes which don’t fit for example, you may not want to buy a completely different item and a bigger or smaller size may not fit either- and before you say ‘try it on first’, some of their shops (Mothercare al Bairaq) do not have changing rooms……..also, if your faulty goods are the last in stock, you will not get a refund but be forced to accept a credit note which MUST be used in one of his other stores.
    Honest business practice? Don’t think so. a way to take money and NEVER lose it- yes seems like it.

    • AMan says:

      @daily – this is pis**ng off people in Dubai and Saudi Arabia who have gone to the press to complain. However in Dubai they have a very organized comsumer complaints association that assists consumers with such complaints. One of Al-Shaya’s employees confided in me that last year he lost 2M KD with return items, and he has decided to minimize his losses and keeping his money in-house without addressing customer’s complaints. His stores in Dubai, due to this policy, have seen a dramatic drop in sales. People think before buying now, if they even decide to purchase at all. People are actually trying on the clothes, then ordering on-line or wait till then they go home to the UK to buy from the stores at a cheaper price. The GCC in general needs to analyze their pricing structure, because the market was OK maybe years ago, but is unacceptable now.

  12. daily says:

    Exactly AMan- I would have spent 40KD on kids clothes but wasn’t going to risk them not fitting so went to another shop instead.
    Peaple should have a look at the mark up on his price tags as he charges almost double for the item.
    You CAN buy online from the UK shops yes, and they will deliver here I think- you can also have your money back if the item doesn’t fit.
    This practice in Kuwait is fraud and I for one dont use his stores anymore- I wait until I travel and get them for half the price OR choose someone else who may have a mark up but at lease will give a refund if you’re not happy.

    A similar thing happened in the Al Shaya schools this year- customers ( parents) were cheated about calendar/ choice of subjects available and uniform ( actually not informed of changes AT ALL) and then when they wanted to withdraw their kids at the start of the year they were refused their 100KD deposit back….it runs in la famiglia….


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