• Yellow Cab to enter UAE market

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    PIZZA lovers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will get a taste of their favorite dish with a different twist – it’s from Philippine company.

    Homegrown Max’s Group Inc. (MGI) on Tuesday said it has signed a development deal with Middle East-based Cartoon Fashion Group to build 10 outlets of Yellow Cab Pizza in the UAE within the next five years.

    UAE is Yellow Cab’s third market, after the Philippines and Qatar. The pizza chain has 112 branches in the Philippines and six in Qatar.

    “This is aligned with our thrust of expanding our overseas presence into new markets. With Cartoon Fashion Group’s proven track record and solid reputation in the UAE, we knew they were the best partner for this endeavor,” MGI President and Chief Executive Officer Robert F. Trota said in a statement.

    Established in 1988, Dubai-based Cartoon Fashion Group is one of UAE’s largest and most successful retail and hospitality firms. It also has well-known brands in its portfolio including Adidas, Ed Hardy and French Connection, having over 25 outlets of these brands across Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Originally focused on retail, Cartoon Fashion Group expanded in 2010 to include food and beverage.

    With the newly-signed deal, Yellow Cab expects to have 31 outlets in the Middle East in the next 10 years, which include 15 new stores in Saudi Arabia and the six in Qatar.

    MGI is ramping up its store roll outs in the second half of 2015–mainly of novelty brands Yellow Cab, Max’s Restaurant and Krispy Kreme–in time for the scheduled mall openings and the Christmas season.

    The store expansion plan this year entails a P500-million budget covering 80 to 90 store openings– including nine abroad. The will consist of 66-percent company-owned stores and 34-percent franchised outlets. The company already built 20 stores in the first six months of the year. KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO

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