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Al-Homaizi to introduce Mothers Work brands in 2009

14
Oct '08
Mothers Work Inc announced its planned expansion into six key markets in the Middle East with its first international franchise agreement with Multi Trend, a member of the Al-Homaizi Group, to introduce its Destination Maternity, Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod, and Edamame The Maternity Spa brands into the Middle East. The first Mothers Work branded retail locations in the Middle East are expected to open during 2009.

Under the multi-year franchise agreement, Mothers Work has granted to Multi Trend and its local subsidiaries the exclusive rights to operate branded retail locations and market merchandise under the Company's Destination Maternity, Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod, and Edamame The Maternity Spa brands in six key markets in the Middle East: the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. Multi Trend will exclusively purchase merchandise from Mothers Work or suppliers designated by Mothers Work. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Ed Krell, Chief Executive Officer of Mothers Work, commented, "We are very excited to announce this important first step in the international expansion of our business and our brands beyond the United States and Canada. Our new relationship with Multi Trend provides us with a great opportunity to introduce our Destination Maternity, Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod, and Edamame brands to a population of approximately 30 million who reside in these six key markets in the Middle East.

The Middle East represents a natural market for us to introduce our brands, since it has some of the highest birth rates, a strong growing economy and a population of new moms-to-be who love to shop and have an ever increasing need for high-quality, fashionable maternity apparel and services. In particular, we believe our Destination Maternity superstores, with their unparalleled breadth of assortment and unique and engaging shopping experience, will be a 'must visit' shopping destination for the expecting Middle Eastern woman, just like they have become for the expecting U.S. woman.

With the strength of our brands and our merchandise, combined with the deep retail experience and local knowledge of Multi Trend, we believe that this business will become the leading maternity apparel retailer in the Middle East, just as we are the leading maternity apparel retailer in the United States."

Saleh Yacoub Al-Homaizi, Chairman of Multi Trend, commented, "We are very pleased to introduce the industry-leading Mothers Work maternity brands into these key Middle East markets, which we see as a continuation of the rich tradition of the Al-Homaizi Group in bringing unique products to discerning, fashion-conscious and quality-conscious consumers."

"During the past one and a half decades, the Al-Homaizi Group has successfully introduced international brands over a range of home, food and apparel product categories, including IKEA,Pizza Hut, Burger King, Appleby's, Custo Barcelona, Cath Kidston, Joe Bloggs, Go Sport, and Courir, in addition to developing local brands in the Middle East. We are confident that the Mothers Work range of maternity apparel merchandise, brands and store concepts will address a huge gap in this segment in the region. As with all our retail businesses, customer satisfaction and total customer experience are of prime importance to our over 5,000 dedicated staff."


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