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Cold Stone Creamery set for Australian franchise launch

Thursday, 29 September 2011 | By Oliver Milman

Ice cream retailer Cold Stone Creamery is to become the latest US food franchise to enter the Australian market, with the company insisting that it won't suffer the same struggles of several of its predecessors.

 

The business is seeking an Australian-based partner to launch its first store, adding to the 18 countries it already has a presence in.

 

Founded in 1988 by Donald and Susan Sutherland in Arizona, Cold Stone Creamery has more than 1400 stores across the world.

 

The brand sells ice cream, cakes and drinks. It plans to launch stores across Australia once it has a master franchisee agreement in place.

 

Despite the recent high-profile struggles of US food franchises Baskin Robbins and Krispy Kreme in Australia, Kahala Franchising, the franchisor of Cold Stone Creamery, insists the newcomer will not suffer the same fate.

 

“We feel Australia is a fantastic market for Cold Stone Creamery because it is one that values high quality super-premium products, as well as a fun, entertaining customer experience,” Eddy Jimenez, VP of international development and logistics for Kahala tells StartupSmart.

 

“Cold Stone Creamery has had very positive success in countries outside of the US and we are excited to add Australia to our growing list of 18 countries.

 

“We have been studying the market for quite some time now and will continue to learn about and understand the market.

 

“Rather than open just to open we will ensure we take our time and open correctly in the right locations and with the right business model.

 

“We will also leverage our master franchisee, their know-how and expertise of the local market as they are the true expert in the country, they understand the region – not just in population but also in consumer patterns and preferences, customer spending habits, best locations for stores, etc.

 

“This will bring more insight to the extensive research that has already been obtained.”

 

Jimenez says the brand will open a small number of stores to start with, saying he’s not concerned by the recruitment struggles faced by many Australian franchisors.

 

“In the event that we find a master partner who chooses to sub-franchise some of the stores we would go through great lengths to ensure that the partner is familiar with franchising and has the right infrastructure in place to support the development of the brand through sub-franchising,.” He says.

 

“Proper due diligence and patience will also be key in ensuring the master partner qualifies and brings on the right sub-franchisees for the brand.”