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Esquires opens first international airport store at Jeddah Airport

Article as appeared on NZX 12 Mar 2015.

Esquires Coffee Houses has opened its first ever airport location in Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Airport at Jeddah which is the gateway to Islam’s Holy City of Mecca.

It is Esquires eighth store in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Cooks Global Foods (NZX:CGF) franchisee in Saudi has completed an extended kiosk store at the airport which is less than 20 kms from Jeddah.

With 17 million passengers a year – Auckland International Airport processes about 14 million[1] - the airport is reputedly the busiest in Saudi Arabia is the third largest in the kingdom.

Cooks chairman Keith Jackson says it’s a booming location.

“The airport covers more than 100 sq kms and there’s a specially designed Hajj Terminal for pilgrims travelling to Mecca as part of the annual pilgrimage.

“Our site is in a prime position and we are delighted with the hugely prestigious location and has been trading exceptionally well since it opened.”

The airport Esquires Coffee House is owned by Cooks’ Saudi franchisee and has a staff of six, all new jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is almost double New Zealand’s at more than 11 per cent[2]

Mr Jackson says there were some extended negotiations required to gain access to the King Abdulaziz Airport but it took only six weeks for the design and construction of the premises.

Cooks New Zealand subsidiary Design Environments provided design input in to the new store.

The news out of Saudi Arabia follows Cooks’ announcement last week that Esquires China had opened its 21st store in the PeoplesRepublic and the second in Beijing’s Surprise Outlets, a shopping centre of more than 35,000 sq. m. The store opening attended by NZ Minister of Trade Tim Groser, creates 12 new jobs and Cooks Global Foods says the opening is representative of a further step in the company’s growth plans for China.

 

[1] Source: AucklandAirport Fast Facts 2013

[2] http://www.cdsi.gov.sa/english/

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