House of Fraser, one of Britain's oldest department stores that first opened its' doors in 1849 - is set to launch four new stores in Russia, less than a month after being taken over by the Chinese group Nanjing Cenbest, a subsidiary of Sanpower Group. 

Yuan Yafei, Chairman of Sanpower Group, the largest shareholder of Nanjing Cenbest, said that as well as opeing four franchise stores in Russia he would also be opening another two in Abu Dhabi. A flagship "Oriental Fraser" is to be opened in Nanjing, where Sanpower is based, next year. This expansion would lead to another 50 branches being opened in China in the next few years.

The latest plans have shed further light on Sanpower’s global ambitions outside its home country, after it said it wanted to exploit what it called the “iconic heritage brand” with a programme of international expansion. House of Fraser currently has 60 sites in the UK and Ireland, including Jenners department store in Edinburgh. It already has one franchise store in Abu Dhabi, opened last year.

Yuan Yafei went on to say that, "The Management team has done an incredible job moving this business from a traditional department store to a recognised premium branded fashion retailer with a first-class multichannel offering.

"We have always been looking to invest in strong brands like House of Fraser, and take them to the next level of growth. With House of Fraser, we see significant opportunities to develop the business further and replicate the already successful model in international markets."

House of Fraser is a major department store group in the UK and Ireland trading principally under the House of Fraser brand name through a portfolio of 60 stores, as well as through its rapidly growing web-store,

Nanjing Cenbest is a leading chain of luxury Chinese department stores focused on fashion and accessories. It was established in 1952 and is currently listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The Sanpower empire spreads across finance, property, media, transport and IT and employs 30,000 people, with assets worth nearly £5 billion.

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