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Sun 1 Apr 2007 03:39 PM

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Matajer outlines ambitious plan for Pistache

Matajer, a UAE based investment company specialising in the retail sector, has ambitious plans after acquiring Pistache, a well-known producer and retailer of high-end chocolate products.

Matajer, a UAE based investment company specialising in the retail sector, has ambitious plans after acquiring Pistache, a well-known producer and retailer of high-end chocolate products.

Matajer, whose chairman, Matar Al Hosani, was previously a major shareholder in Pistache, intends to take the chocolate brand through an extensive expansion drive in the next few years.

Pistache opened two new stores last year in Dubai and Matajer is keen to expand on this, Al Hosani told Retail News Middle East. "There is a potential in the chocolate business, especially in Dubai," he said. "Pistache has six stores at the moment and one under construction. We would like to have 50 stores in five years in the Gulf and the Middle East."

Matajer also plans to develop the Pistache concept, partly by overhauling the brand and its image. "Pistache as a brand is undergoing a transformation and we are gearing to take it global over the next few years," Al Hosani said.

"More outlets in UAE will be complemented by an extensive franchise development program to be implemented by the end of 2007. "We are going to change the whole concept, from the identity from A to Z, and the decoration and the logo.

"Already we are in the finalised step to become a totally new concept. I am expecting that by June, the company will become a franchise operation."

Pistache recently recently started to refurbish its stores across the UAE as part of a new store concept.

Furthermore, Pistache opened a state of art chocolate factory in Al Ain last year, and Matajer also plans to raise awareness of luxury chocolates. "Matajer realises the importance of the increased consumer awareness of fine chocolates," Al Hosani said. "Melting global boundaries and increased international travel are making people more differentiating. We aim to cater to this segment through our careful selection of innovative choices."

Al Hosani added that Matajer will continue to look for further business investments in the region, particularly retail-based companies that want to expand but may lack the expertise necessary to do so.

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