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Tue 16 Mar 2010 01:10 PM

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Convenience store giant Circle K enters UAE market

Canadian retailer inks licence, franchise agreements with Twenty Four Seven.

Convenience store giant Circle K enters UAE market
BRANDING CHANGE: Convenience store giant Circle K has signed a deal to enter the UAE market through existing Twenty Four Seven shops.

Circle K, the Canadian-based convenience store retailer with more than 3,800 stores worldwide, has signed a deal to bring its brand to the UAE.

Elaph Special Acquisition Company (ESAC), the holding company of Twenty Four Seven, on Tuesday announced the signing of a master licence and franchise agreement to own and operate Circle K-branded convenience stores in the UAE.

Under the agreement, the regional headquarters will be established in Dubai, with the option of expansion into Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

"The convenience store industry in the Gulf region is in the early stages of development. Circle K will be the first international operator to enter the region. Twenty Four Seven and Elaph see this is a pivotal opportunity to introduce Circle K's proven, high-quality concept to the region," said Mohammed AG Hussain, managing partner of ESAC.

Owned by Canadian-based Alimentation Couche-Tard, Circle K is one of the most successful operators of convenience stores and has a presence in North America, China, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Guam and Mexico.

"Twenty Four Seven fully expects branding our convenience store operations with a recognised industry leader will greatly advance our foothold and competitive position in a young and growing market," said Fahmi AlShawa, managing director of Twenty Four Seven.

"There's a growing need for convenience stores in the region as our modern lifestyles get more complex," added AlShawa. "Circle K's business model offers unlimited opportunities for franchisees to adapt its successful operation module to new markets, and we are extremely pleased to be the first to bring the brand to the Middle East."

The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

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