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Egyptian bookshop chain expands to the UK

Egyptian bookshop chain Alef Bookstores will open its first international branch in London next month, reports the Bookseller. The store, which will be located next door to 221B Baker Street, the fictional home of Sherlock Holmes and the site of the Sherlock Holmes Museum, will be ‘an upmarket affair’ and will appeal to the tourist market, with 40% of its stock English-language fiction, nonfiction and local interest bestsellers; 35% Arabic fiction; and 25% gift products. Alef Bookstores board member and general manager Ahmed Rahmy told the Bookseller the company ‘would not look to compete with Waterstones and W H Smith, hoping instead to attract the tourist market and potentially Arabic fiction readers who are less well served by other bookshops’. Alef Bookstores, which was founded in 2009, has 33 branches in Egypt and is owned by investment bank and private equity firm the Multiples Group. The chain plans to open another 60 stores worldwide by 2020, including stores in Europe, the Gulf and the US.


Category: International news