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Dunkin’ adds 338 stores in 1st half of year

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By Jenn Abelson
Globe Staff / August 26, 2010

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Dunkin’ Donuts quickened the pace of new store openings this year, with 338 net new locations unveiled worldwide during the first six months, compared with just 175 new shops during the same period last year.

The Canton coffee and doughnut company, which has which has a total of 9,524 shops, is also making a big push internationally. Of the 338 new stores opened this year, 263 were launched in markets outside the United States. Domestically, Dunkin’ rolled out just 75 stores during the first half of 2010, compared with 85 locations opened during the first six months of 2009. The company disclosed yesterday that it had signed multistore agreements in 14 markets around the country, including Miami, Detroit, and Chicago.

“As a result of our focus on steady, strategic growth, we have expanded our presence in existing markets while also successfully entering new territories,’’ said Nigel Travis, chief executive of Dunkin’ Brands, in a statement.

Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant analyst with NPD Group, a market research firm, said the doughnut category has been one of the few bright spots during the recession. Breakfast in particular has been a strong growth area for the restaurant industry.

Both Tim Hortons coffee and doughnut chain and Dunkin’ Donuts saw sales and store units increase between 2007 and 2009, according to Technomic, a market research business. Dunkin’, for example, saw its US sales rise to $5.3 billion from $4.8 billion during those years and expanded its domestic operation from 5,775 outlets to 6,500 outlets by the end of 2009, according to Technomic.

“We attribute our steady domestic and international growth to the high quality food and beverages we offer our guests and the passionate franchisees who keep our restaurants and guests running every day,’’ said Grant Benson, vice president of franchising at Dunkin’ Donuts. “Domestically, our focus is to continue to develop our core markets in the Northeast, while increasing our presence in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states.’’

Jenn Abelson can be reached at abelson@globe.com.