By  on October 14, 2008

Mothers Work Inc. on Monday said it had signed its first international franchise agreement, which will pave the way for its brands to enter six key markets in the Middle East.

The agreement with Multi Trend, a member of the Al-Homaizi Group, will introduce Destination Maternity, Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod and Edamame The Maternity Spa to the region next year. Al-Homaizi has brought Ikea, Burger King, Applebee’s, Custo Barcelona, Cath Kidston home furnishings, Joe Bloggs men’s and boys’ wear and other brands to the region.

Under the multiyear franchise agreement, Mothers Work granted Multi Trend and its local subsidiaries exclusive rights to operate branded retail locations and market merchandise under the company’s four banners in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. Multi Trend will exclusively purchase merchandise from Mothers Work or suppliers designated by Mothers Work. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“The Middle East represents a natural market for us to introduce our brands, since it has some of the highest birth rates, a strong growing economy and a population of new moms-to-be who love to shop and have an ever-increasing need for high-quality, fashionable maternity apparel and services,” said Ed Krell, chief executive officer of Mothers Work. “We believe our Destination Maternity superstores will be a ‘must visit’ shopping destination for the expecting Middle Eastern woman.”

Added Saleh Yacoub Al-Homaizi, chairman of Multi Trend: “We are confident that the Mothers Work range of maternity apparel merchandise, brands and store concepts will address a huge gap in this segment in the region.”

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