Doughnut war spreads as Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme vie for new markets

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Dunkin’ Donuts, which yesterday announced expansion plans on the West Coast, will not be the only doughnut chain looking to expand its footprint. Krispy Kreme, which almost entirely failed in its attempt to enter the New England market in the early 2000s, currently has 234 domestic franchises and plans to grow that number over the next few years.

In a presentation to investors that was delivered at the ICR XChange Conference in Miami on Jan. 17, the company shared that it planned to have 400 US stores by 2017, up from its current 234. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based chain, which has one remaining New England location at the Mohegan Sun Casino, also shared plans to grow internationally from 506 stores to 900 by 2019 in the same presentation.

According to the PowerPoint document released in advance of the investor presentation, Krispy Kreme plans to expand its company-owned presence primarily in the Southeast, “focusing on small retail shops only.”

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Outside the Southeast, Krispy Kreme plans to grow it store count by adding new franchisees. The presentation also says that the company expects its existing franchisees to continue to expand both in and outside the Southeast.

According to a Dec. 15, 2005, Boston Globe story, a Krispy Kreme franchisee, the Jan Cos., had planned to open 16 stores throughout New England but only succeeded in opening seven. All of those stores, aside from one that remains open at the Mohegan Sun casino, have since closed.

Multiple calls to Krispy Kreme for comment as to whether the company will once again enter the New England market were not returned.

While Krispy Kreme, according to the investor report, will be focusing primarily on its core market in the Southeast and international expansion, Dunkin’ Donuts will be looking to break into the West Coast where the company has tried to expand before.

In a press release, Canton-based Dunkin’ Donuts said that it is recruiting multiunit franchisees for Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Ventura, and Orange counties and it expects that restaurants in those markets will begin to open in 2015. In the late 1990s, Dunkin’ had about 15 restaurants in the California market, but later exited the region, saying that it didn’t have the infrastructure to grow and expand. Now, though, Dunkin’ thinks the time is right for a return engagement.