Depot makes Middle East move
Office Depot goes head to head with Office 1 in the Middle East
Office Depot has signed a franchise agreement with major Middle Eastern retailer, Alshaya
The Kuwait-based retail group has been granted franchise rights in all channels in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. The first four retail store locations are scheduled to open in 2009 in Kuwait City and Dubai.
No details were given about the possibilities of developing an Office Depot branded contract business under the agreement.
"We believe there is a significant market for these products and services throughout the Middle East," said Mohammed Alshaya, Executive Chairman of Alshaya.
"We look forward to using our experience and regional knowledge to firmly establish Office Depot as the natural choice for businesses and individuals for all of their office supply needs."
Ernst Wessel, Office Depot’s VP of International Franchise Development, said that the company is looking at making further franchise agreements.
"Office Depot understands the importance of developing a retail business in the Middle East and is partnering with a very experienced company such as Alshaya," said Wessel.
"We believe that the Office Depot business is particularly suitable and attractive as a franchising concept for certain territories and I look forward to talking with other potential partners."
This latest move will see Depot go head to head with Office 1, which has a presence in the Middle East with outlets in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan.
Last month Office 1 boosted its own Middle East presence by signing a master franchise agreement with Scientific for Computers & Systems (SCS) in Jordan.
SCS, which sells products from vendors such as Acer, HP and Symantec, will oversee the opening of an Office 1 store in April, with two further outlets set to follow shortly after.
However, in Alshaya Depot has partnered with a very strong local player. It is already the regional franchise holder for over 40 international retail brands including Starbucks, H&M, Debenhams and The Body Shop, and has recently moved into eastern Europe and Russia.