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Sun 1 Apr 2007 04:27 PM

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Plug-Ins reiterates GCC plans after Bahrain move

Retailer sets its sights on wider Gulf market after opening Bahrain store.

Power retailer Plug-Ins Electronix has opened its long-awaited first standalone store outside of the UAE.

The new Bahraini outlet marks the first step of the power retailer's wider GCC expansion plans. "We chose Bahrain because it was the market that we felt we are ready to compete in," explained Bradley Bennett, business development manager at Plug-Ins Electronix. "The market in Bahrain is quite developed, there's a lot of organised retail moving in and we saw an opportunity to compete with organised retail as we do in Dubai."

Bennett says that the store will be remotely managed from Dubai, with Plug-Ins veteran George Beula steering the ship at ground level and overseeing the business. "Beula was trained in Dubai and has been working here for eight years. He's well experienced in terms of electronics and the Plug-Ins look and feel, and particularly our customer service approach which we're well-known for," added Bennett.

The opening of the Bahraini outlet is the first in a number of steps Plug-Ins is taking in an effort to expand across the region. The retailer is also currently eyeing up the Qatar market, and harbours a long-term goal to operate in every country in the GCC.

"Our next step will definitely be Qatar," disclosed Bennett. "It took us three years to set up in Bahrain so I won't put a timeline on it, but hopefully something will happen within the next six to 12 months. We are also opening a store in Saudi Arabia, and once we get in Qatar and then possibly Oman, we will be in five of the GCC nations," he added.

Plug-Ins also revealed that as it opens more stores across the region it will be undertaking regional, rather than local, promotions. "We have plans for Qatar and Oman and we will then be able to offer promotions GCC-wide," concluded Bennett.

Plug-ins claims that its stores in the UAE - which are spread across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah - attracted more than 1.3 million visitors in 2006.

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