Interior of a DSW store.

DSW Inc., a branded footwear and accessories retailer, has signed a deal with Apparel Group as its exclusive partner in the Middle East’s Gulf region.

The agreement will expand DSW into Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Oman with 40 stores across the territory. The first stores will open next year.

The doors in the Middle East will be in both malls and high street locations, with the initial stores averaging about 15,000 square feet and offering approximately 2,000 choices per store.

DSW operates 480 stores in 42 states, as well as an e-commerce site. DSW also supplies footwear to 387 locations in the U.S. operated by Stein Mart, Gordmans and Frugal Fannie’s under its Affiliate Business Group. Through its partial ownership of Town Shoes of Canada, it also operates 17 stores in Canada.

Apparel Group, the Dubai-based multiretail conglomerate, aims to have 1,500 stores by the end of this year under such nameplates as Tommy Hilfiger, Aldo, Nine West, Skechers, Aéropostale and The Children’s Place.

Nilesh Ved, founder and chairman of Apparel Group, said, “We have expanded tremendously in 2016 and have added almost 10 new international brands to our portfolio this year. This agreement with DSW is yet another important milestone as we continue to focus on accelerating our retail expansion in the region.”

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