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Nursery firm has expanded in Dubai.

Byline: By HENRYK ZIENTEK Business Reporter

NURSERY products firm Mamas & Papas has opened two more stores in the Middle East.

The Colne Bridge-based company has set up in business at the fashionable Mercato and Wafi shopping malls in Dubai - and is planning to roll out more stores in the region in coming months.

The new stores are managed by franchise operator Al Tayer Group, which has already launched the designer nursery brand in AbuDhabi in theUnited Arab Emirates, Doha in Qatar and Kuwait City in Kuwait.

The latest move comes less than a month after Mamas & Papas unveiled a new outlet at the prestigious Villagio shopping mall in Doha, Qatar.

Mamas and Papas said the 6,100sq ft store at the Mercato Mall was in the heart of one of the fastest-growing residential and retail districts in Jumeirah - which already boasts several resort properties, hotels and private villas.

Meanwhile, the Mamas & Papas store occupying a 1,149sq ft retail space at the Wafi Mall in Wafi City has been described by the firm's store designers as "one of the most unique and exciting stores Mamas & Papas have ever opened".

The Wafi Mall, which describes itself as "a city within a city" is a fashionable shopping centre with an Egyptian theme. The mall, which opened in 2001, extends over four floors and has more than 200 stores, including 60 assigned to international brands.

Mamas and Papas first set foot in Dubai in April last year by launching a concession at the Harvey Nichols department store in the Mall of the Emirates.

Allen Hill, international franchise associate director for Mamas & Papas, said: "The concession, which covers 750sq ft, has provided the ideal launch pad for larger format Mamas & Papas stores such as Mercato.

"The opening of our new stores in Dubai will ensure that the Mamas & Papas customer has access to a much wider product range and will increase the brand profile even further."

Dubai is the first city in the world to feature three Mamas & Papas stores - including the Harvey Nichols concession - and to showcase the complete Mamas & Papas spring-summer range.

Richard Faulkner, deputy chief executive of Mamas & Papas, said: "We are currently working on a further 15 stores with Al Tayer Group and we hope to have these open within the next 12 months.

"We are also talking to potential partners in Russia, Turkey, Greece, Taiwan and South Korea and have already chosen a partner for Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. We expect to see an upsurge in our international store opening programme this year and next."

Mamas & Papas was formed in 1981 by husband and wife David and Luisa Scacchetti and now has 32 stores across the UK selling nursery products including pushchairs and prams, cots, bedding, toys and maternity clothing.

It also has a retail presence in the Far East, Australia and New Zealand, North America and Europe.

The company - which counts fashion designer Stella McCartney and pop star Gwen Stefani among its celebrity customers - has 1,100 staff, more than 2,500 products and racked up sales exceeding pounds 130m in 2007.

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STORES: Allen Hill (above) and Richard Faulkner (below)
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Feb 25, 2008
Words:525
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