Waitrose Set For Move Into United Arab Emirates

Waitrose is set to expand abroad for the first time after parent company the John Lewis Partnership secured a licensing agreement with Spinneys Dubai LLC to roll out more than 20 supermarket stores in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by 2010.
Dubai grocer Spinneys will open and operate the first Waitrose store in Dubai in April, adding to its collection of 40 grocery stores across the UAE and Oman.
The store will be a 25,000 square foot supermarket in a suburb of Dubai that is particularly preferred by British and other European residents.
Although Waitrose exports its products to 20 countries worldwide, this is the first time the upmarket retailer has signed a licensing agreement to venture abroad and open its first overseas store.
Two more purpose-built Waitrose branches will open in July and October 2008, both located in Dubai – one adjacent to the Dubai Marina and one based in the new Burj Dubai Mall.
In addition, Spinneys will convert a further 20 of its existing stores to trade as Waitrose stores in the next two years.
Richard Hodgson, the retailer’s commercial director, said: “This agreement is set to accelerate export trade for Waitrose and marks a significant milestone in our international ambitions.”
“Spinneys – a retail operator that shares many of Waitrose’s trading principles and with whom we have enjoyed a successful three-year trading relationship – was the obvious choice for our first licensing deal,” he added.

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