Tesco plans to turn its fashion label F&F into a leading global brand.

The retailer announced today it had signed a deal to open 19 fashion stores in Saudi Arabia in a franchise deal with Fawaz Abdulaziz Al Hokair & Co.

Tesco said it would work with local partners to launch standalone stores within shopping malls and units within department stores and hypermarkets.

“The franchise model is a natural extension of the work we have been doing to turn F&F into a truly global fashion brand,” said Jason Tarry, chief executive of F&F International.

“We have, in a very short time, created a market-leading fashion brand in Central Europe, now worth over £400m. Now we have the opportunity to grow our brand further.”

F&F is already trading in 11 markets and is one of the leading fashion brands in Central Europe, recently launching its second standalone F&F store in Brno in the Czech Republic.