Upmarket UK retailer Waitrose has confirmed plans to exit Bahrain just three years after opening its first store in the country.

Waitrose opened its first store in Bahrain in June 2010 in a bid to build on its presence in the Middle East.

However, a spokesperson for the retailer confirmed that Supa Save Bahrain WLL, which runs Waitrose shops under licence in Bahrain, has announced its decision to exit the market.

The grocer said the reason for the exit was due to sales having “not reached levels required for a sustainable business”.

“Supa Save Bahrain WLL is in discussion with several interested parties to take over the shops,” Waitrose said.

The retailer, which sells Waitrose-branded lines to over 30 markets, opened its first stores in the Middle East in Dubai in 2008.