JustKidding signs franchise deal with AMZ Group for regional expansion

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, February 12 - 2013 @ 10:57

The retailer, which currently has two stores in the UAE, was established in Dubai in 1996 and currently turns over Dhs14m annually. With a strong online presence and more than 20,000 customers per year, the brand looks set to go from strength-to-strength, with JustKidding anticipated to be worth more than Dhs150-200m within the next 3 years.

The deal with AMZ Group includes a five-year renewable contract for the exclusive rollout of JustKidding stores and boutiques in the UAE, Kuwait and Oman, in addition to the acquisition of the two existing JustKidding stores in Dubai (Al Safa, Gold & Diamond Park).

The AMZ Group was established in the UAE in 1999 by Chairman Mr. Abdul Munim Al Zawawi and now boasts an impressive and diverse portfolio of retail businesses. The family business has grown from a small beginning to now having over 400 staff, five business lines and a presence in three countries.

Annemarie Retera, CEO and co-founder of JustKidding commented:

“The baby-product market in the Middle East and in particular the GCC, is going from strength to strength due to high disposable incomes, high birth rates, a young population and a clear appetite for strong brand names. In fact, baby products have been hailed by industry professionals as a key growth industry for the years to come. Here in the GCC there is a real lack of expert retailers who can really give new parents the level of support and expertise they require when setting up home for their new arrival.”

“JustKidding is a brand that we are extremely passionate about and we have been looking to expand our presence both locally and regionally for a number of years in response to an overwhelming demand from our customers. We needed to find the right partner to share our passion and our vision for JustKidding and we are extremely confident that AMZ Group is the right partner to really increase the presence and accessibility of the brand across UAE, Oman and Kuwait. Beyond these markets we will also be looking to continue our regional expansion looking at the other key markets across the GCC and beyond.”

Neil Isaacson, Strategic Business Development Director at AMZ Group commented on the deal: “With a clear mandate to aggressively grow the company, the group is on the constant look-out for innovative ideas, brands and new business opportunities that are of particular relevance to the GCC market. JustKidding was the perfect fit for the group and we truly believe that this with be a key growth sector across the Middle East.

“We are currently engaged in a five-year contact with JustKidding, but we believe that this will be a long-term relationship that will go far beyond this initial expansion plan. As we expand across the region, our focus will be on maintaining the strong brand and values synonymous with JustKidding.”

Retera concluded: “Our business model is very much focused on the quality offering of our products and the high-level of customer service we offer to our clients. We founded JustKidding as new parents desperate to find quality and safe products for our children. This is what differentiates us from other retailers in this space. We are confident that we can take this same offering and create extremely successful stores with AMZ Group across the region, making sure that parents all over the GCC have access to the very best products for their children. ”

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Tuesday, February 12- 2013 @ 10:57 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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