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W H Smith to enter Qatar
17.01.12 | Lisa Campbell
W H Smith will branch out into Qatar after entering a franchise agreement with Al Meera Holding.
According to ArabianBusiness.com, the consumer goods company which is 26% owned by the Qatari government, has exclusive rights to establish and operate book stores under the W H Smith brand in Qatar.
In October 2011, W H Smith had 60 international units in operation or agreed in Australia, India and the Middle East in places such as Hyderabad and Dubai.
Then, it said: “We will continue to grow our international channel in a low risk and pragmatic way, utilising our different operating models: direct lease, franchise and joint-venture." Of the 60 units the company had won, around 65% are franchise, around 25% direct lease and the remainder are joint venture.
Speaking to The Bookseller yesterday (16th February), Jonathan Pritchard, analyst for Oriel Securities, said W H Smith planned to grow internationally by around 150 stores within three years.
"However our view is that they could step up a gear and have around 300-500 outlets within five years," he said.