Middle East Franchise Review 2013 - page 9

MIDDLE EAST FRANCHISE REVIEW
7
News
News
Fnac (France)AwardsQatar Franchise
15October2013–Fnacannounces thesigning
of a franchiseagreementwithDarwishHolding, a
pioneer inmassdistributionand retail sales in the
MiddleEast, toestablish itself inQatar. The first
storewill open inDoha (Qatar) inautumn2014,
in theLagoonaMall shoppingcentre.
Qatar isexperiencingstrongeconomicgrowth
andasignificant increase inconsumption. Today it
isattractingsubstantial investment, particularly
frommajor global distributioncompanies. In this
context, Fnacaims toopen4stores inQatar
within thenext 5 years. Thisopening isan
opportunity for Fnac topave theway for further
development in theMiddleEast.
AfterMorocco, this is thesecondcountry in
whichFnac isestablishing itself asa franchise.
InpartneringwithDarwishHolding, Fnacwill
benefit from the full expertiseof thegroup inboth
the franchising industryand thedistributionof
technical products. Indeed,DarwishHolding is
thedistributor inQatar ofmore than30brandsof
technical products (Sony, Yamaha,Bose,Bang
andOlufsenetc.).
“In the frameworkof itsdevelopment strategy,
Fnacwill soonbeopening its first store inQatar.
In thisperspective itwill beable tobenefit fromall
of theexpertiseof itspartner,DarwishHolding, as
well from itsperfect knowledgeof the regional
economicmilieu. This installationonanew
geographical territoryonceagaindemonstrates
the full relevance for Fnacof thedevelopment
methodof franchising,which thusallows it to
quicklyseizeopportunities for growthby leaning
on theknow-howof referential players.” said
AlexanderBompard,ChairmanandCEOof Fnac
“Withmore than80 yearsof experience in the
distributionof luxuryand retail products, but also
in thepromotionofmalls,DarwishHoldingplaces
itself in thedynamicof acountrywithoneof the
most flourishingeconomies in theworld.Darwish
Holdingoffers thepeopleofQatar thebest global
brandsandmarks. It is thuswithgreat pride that
wewelcomeFnac in its installation inQatar, and
onabroader level, in theMiddleEast. The1st
storewill open itsdoors inour luxuriousLagoona
Mall inDoha. Themark'suniqueconcept of
technical productsandcultural goodswill allow
Fnac tobeat thecrossroadsof leisure
consumption inour country.” IndicatedBaderAl
Darwish,ChairmanofDarwishHolding
Gucci (Italy) EntersBahrainMarket
11October2013–Gucci, oneof theworld's
leading luxury fashionbrands, hasannounced its
entry into theBahrainmarket, through thesigning
of a joint venturewith local partner Taleela, said
a report.
Asa result of amulti-year franchise relationship
withTaleela,Gucci currentlyhasonestore in
ModaMall,BahrainWorldTradeCentre,which
opened in2009, reported theGulfDailyNews,
our sister publication.
The firstGucci store inBahrainwasopened in
1989at theSheratoncomplex, fromwhere it
was relocated.
Luxurybrandshavebeenexpanding rapidly in the
GCCas they look toaccess the$1.5 trillionGulf
market and thegrowingaffluentGulf population.
The increasingpurchasingpower ofGulf
residents, drivenbyconsistent economicgrowth,
hasseen luxurybrands fromall around theworld
move in toestablish themselves in themindsof
Gulf shoppers.
Thesigningceremony tookplaceat theofficesof
theEconomicDevelopmentBoard (EDB) and
wasattendedbyTransportationMinister and
actingchief executiveof EDBKamal Ahmed,
Taleela'sAbdul Al Ansari andAhmedAl Ansari
of alongwithanumber of other representatives
fromGucci, Taleela, theEDB, andother officials.
“Gucci’sdecision tobeginnewactivities in
Bahrain is testament to thekingdom’sstrong
economicgrowth, particularly in thenon-oil
economy, and theattractivenessof thekingdom
for regional visitors,” saidAhmed.
Gucci president andchief executivePatriziodi
Marcodescribed it asa further step inGucci’s
strategy to takedirect control of retail network
andoperations in theMiddleEast.
“This is in linewithour overall retail strategy,
whichseeks tocontinuously takedirect control
of thebrand’sdistribution to further enhance the
consistencyof theconsumer’sexperienceacross
differentmarkets,”hesaid.
Abdul Al Ansari said the joint venturewas
anexcellent opportunity for Taleela to tap into
an increasingly lucrative luxurygoodsmarket
inBahrain.
Asda’s (UK)GeorgeBrandMakes
Dubai Debut
11October2013–The6,588sq ft franchise
storehasbeendeveloped inpartnershipwith
AzadeaGroup,which isaidingAsda’sown label
fashionbrand’sexpansion in theUAE.
Georgehasopenedeight storesacross the
MiddleEast andUAE in the last yearwith the
ninthdue toopen inMalta thismonth.
George retail and international director Jo
Whitfieldsaid: “Our international franchises
areproving tobeagreat success.Dubai isan
incrediblyexcitingmarket for us.
“We’reconfident that theAlGhurair shoppers
including localsandex-patswill love thestyle
andqualityof our rangesandbeamazedat the
excellent value formoney.”
Separately, Asdahas registeredGeorge.home
at the Intellectual PropertyOfficeandmayuse
thebrandacross itshomewaresoffer,City
AM reports.
AnAsdaspokesmansaid: “We register logos,
trademarksanddomainsall the time.”
Alshaya (UAE) toExpandBabel
(Lebanon) across theMENA
08October2013–MHAlshayaCo, a leading
retail franchiseoperator, hassignedadealwith
AfkarHoldingGroup, theLebaneseBabel
restaurant operator, toexpandBabel across the
MiddleEast andNorthAfrica.
The firstBabel restaurants, tobemanagedby
Alshaya, areexpected toopen inKuwait and the
UAE, eachwith thedistinctivedesignand
architecture that characterises thebrand, said
astatement.
Thebrandwasestablished inLebanon in
2009and introduced the tastesand flavours
of traditional Lebanesecuisine, reinventedwith
acontemporary twist andusinghighquality
ingredients, it said.
DoryRizk,CEOofAfkarHoldingGroup, said:
“AtBabelwearecommitted tobringingour
customersacompellinghospitalityexperience that
explores thecomplexityof Lebanesecuisineand
deliversoutstandingserviceandambience.”
MohammedAlshayaadded: “Wearedelighted to
beable tobring thisoutstandingLebanesedining
concept tonewmarkets, further broadening the
diversityof diningchoices thatweareable tooffer
our customers.”
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