SAN FRANCISCO // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- The Gymboree Corporation (Nasdaq: GYMB) today announced it has entered into a multi-year franchise agreement with Azadea G Group Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Azadea Group Holding SAL, to launch the Gymboree retail brand in the Middle East. The first stores are scheduled to open in Dubai during the third fiscal quarter of 2010.
"We are excited to be expanding the reach of the Gymboree retail concept and entering into our first retail franchise relationship," said Matthew McCauley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Gymboree Corporation. "We are happy to be partnering with a firm like Azadea, which brings years of proven experience introducing new brands to the region, while maintaining impeccable retail standards and the highest quality customer experience."
"We are delighted to introduce and develop Gymboree in the Middle East," stated Said Daher, Chief Executive Officer of Azadea Group Holding SAL. "We are confident that the combination of quality and fashion this renowned brand brings to the children's clothing market will be well received across the region. The wheels are set in motion and, this coming fall, our customers in Dubai will be able to experience the uniqueness of Gymboree products."
Based in Beirut, Lebanon, Azadea Group Holding SAL is a leading fashion and lifestyle retail company in the Middle East and North Africa, managing over 30 international brands. The company operates over 350 stores in 11 markets including United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon and Romania.
The Gymboree Corporation's specialty retail brands offer unique, high-quality products delivered with personalized customer service. As of February 27, 2010, the Company operated a total of 960 retail stores: 629 Gymboree® stores (593 in the United States, 34 in Canada and 2 in Puerto Rico), 140 Gymboree Outlet stores, 119 Janie and Jack® shops and 72 Crazy 8® stores in the United States. The Company also operates online stores and offers directed parent-child developmental play programs at 655 franchised and Company-operated Gymboree Play & Music® centers in the United States and 30 other countries.
The foregoing paragraphs contain forward-looking statements relating to The Gymboree Corporation's anticipated international expansion plans. These are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results could vary materially as a result of a number of factors, including high levels of unemployment and consumer debt, volatility in the financial markets, customer reactions to new merchandise, service levels and new concepts, success in meeting our delivery targets, the level of our promotional activity, our gross margin achievement, our ability to appropriately manage inventory, general economic conditions, effects of future embargos from countries used to source product, and competitive market conditions. Other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially include those set forth in the reports that we file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our annual report on Form 10-K for the year-ended January 31, 2009. These forward-looking statements reflect The Gymboree Corporation's expectations as of March 10, 2010. The Gymboree Corporation undertakes no obligation to update the information provided herein.
Gymboree, Janie and Jack, Crazy 8 and Gymboree Play & Music are registered trademarks of The Gymboree Corporation.
SOURCE The Gymboree Corporation