Williams-Sonoma in Middle East franchise agreement

Williams-Sonoma Inc. has entered into a multiyear franchise agreement with MH Alshaya Co., WLL to launch the company's portfolio of brands in the Middle East. The first four stores are expected to open in Dubai and Kuwait in 2010 and will include the Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids brands.

“Alshaya is one of the preeminent retailers in the Middle East and their experience bringing leading retail brands into the region as well as their marketing expertise gives us great confidence in the long-term potential of this growth strategy,” said Howard Lester, chairman and CEO at Williams-Sonoma, in a statement.

MH Alshaya operates more than 1,700 stores representing more than 50 different retail brands across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Cyprus, Russia and Poland.

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