Mutichannel toy retailer has signed a 45 store franchise agreement with Al Owais Enterprises; First store opens in Dubai in December

The Entertainer embarks on international expansion into the Middle East

The Entertainer has reached an agreement with retail group Al Owais Enterprises that sees the multichannel toy retailer open stores across the Middle East.

The retailer has signed for 45 stores, with the first opening in December in the Al Ghurair Shopping Centre in Deira, Dubai.

Further stores will open throughout the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Gary Grant, founder and managing director of the Entertainer, commented: "This is our first franchise deal since we announced our plans for international expansion at the beginning of the summer.

"Throughout the process we had been extremely encouraged by the demand shown from potential partners and the quality of the applicants.

"In Al Owais we believe we have a partner who meets all of our requirements. They are a long-established and successful business in the GCC, operating across multiple sectors.

"Just as importantly, they share The Entertainer’s entrepreneurial outlook and drive to constantly innovate. We are excited about working with them to build the best loved toy shop chain in the Middle East."

Mohammed al Owais, executive chairman of Al Owais Enterprises, added: "We are delighted to be bringing a successful brand such as The Entertainer to the region.

"We believe there is a place in the market for a toy retailer who offers quality products and gives everyday value for money to its customers.

"Like Gary, I feel that we have found a partner who shares our core values. We look forward to developing a long and fruitful relationship over the coming years."

The Entertainer was advised on the deal by Franchise partner Babette Marzheuser-Wood, at global law firm Dentons.

Duncan Grant, director of multichannel, The Entertainer, added: "We are pleased with the signing of Al Owais Enterprises, it heralds a strong start to our international franchise programme and provides a blueprint for our expansion into further markets in 2014 and beyond."

Ten new UK store openings have been announced this year, including the first store in Scotland. Further UK store openings are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

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