Al-Futtaim- Intersport races into UAE market

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Al-Futtaim Group, UAE’s leading business conglomerate, today announced its expansion plans for INTERSPORT in the UAE, including the layout of the first store in Dubai in early 2007, which will also be the brand’s first store in the Middle East. With a turnover of EUR 7.7 billion annually and more than 4,800 specialist sports stores in 32 countries, INTERSPORT International Corp (IIC) signed an exclusive license agreement with the Al-Futtaim Group in mid 2006.

Jim McCallum, Group Director – Retail, Al-Futtaim Group said, “Dubai is the region’s undisputed shopping destination. It is only but natural that the world’s biggest sporting goods retailer has chosen Dubai to make its entry into the Middle East. We welcome the move by INTERSPORT and look forward to a highly rewarding partnership.”

The Al-Futtaim Group’s retail arm aims to open five stores across the UAE by 2009. The first store is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2007. The store has been designed in the international concept of the brand, where products will be segregated by sports category. The next phase of expansion within the UAE will see outlets opened at the Retail Park in Dubai Festival City. The expansion of INTERSPORT to other Gulf countries is currently under evaluation.

Franz Julen, CEO of IIC-INTERSPORT International Corporation said, “We chose to open our first store in the UAE because of the immense growth potential in this market. The UAE and in particular Dubai is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The emirate is expected to attract 15 million tourists by 2015 putting it almost into the rankings of the world’s top 10 tourist destinations.

“Dubai offers an ideal launching pad for INTERSPORT as we look to expand into Turkey, Greece and Russia. We are convinced we have found the right partner in the Al-Futtaim Group as we enter a new chapter in INTERSPORT’s books,” he added.

The INTERSPORT store will offer a wide variety of sports equipment and gear catering to men, women and children of all ages.

Additionally customers to the INTERSPORT store can expect world-class customer service and expert advice on sports gear. Staff at the store will be trained by professional sports trainers enabling them to give the best possible advice to customers to assist them in choosing the equipment that best fit their needs.

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