Biggest Iraqi NAAFI store opens in Basra

Forces' favourite NAAFI opened its biggest store in Iraq last month and British troops in Basra bought electrical items in their droves over Christmas.

NAAFI's overseas offshoot, EFI (Expeditionary Forces Institute) opened the 3,000 sq ft (280 sq m) store at the Shaibah logistics base in Basra on December 20.

Some 60 per cent of goods sold through the store to date have been electricals, such as televisions and DVD players.

A spokeswoman said: 'The troops realise that they are going to be out there for a longer period of time now, so they are buying goods to keep them occupied and entertained.'

EFI has five stores in Iraq - three in Basra, one in Umm Qasr and one in Al Amarah - and has plans to open another two over the next couple of months.

NAAFI recently appointed Chris Malcomson to the new position of general manager, Iraq, responsible for the retail strategy in the Gulf. He has spent 20 years in retail businesses in the Middle East.

There are 10,000 British troops in the Gulf.