Dunkin' Donuts shops to double in the area

91 more stores are expected to open by 2010

September 08, 2006|By Andrea K. Walker | Andrea K. Walker,Sun reporter

Dunkin' Donuts plans to double the number of doughnut and coffee shops it has in the Baltimore area during the next three years.

The Canton, Mass.-based doughnut chain plans to open 91 stores in the area by 2010, or one Dunkin' Donuts for every 16,600 people. There are currently 76 stores.

The expansion is part of a larger strategy by Dunkin' Donuts to create a 15,000-store operation by 2020. It now has about 4,400 franchises in 36 states. It is also targeting areas such as Washington, Charlotte, N.C., New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Nashville, Tenn.

"We still have a lot of what we call white space in the eastern coast of the United States," said Lynette McKee, vice president of franchising for Dunkin' Brands. "We really wanted to look at the markets where we have a good presence but we could penetrate at a much higher level. Maybe now our customers are going to another place to buy their coffee because we're not in enough places."

Many of the new stores will feature a design the company unveiled last year that is smaller and more open to showcase products, executives said.

The company will also continue its recent evolution from a place where people grab doughnuts in the morning to one that has food offerings throughout the day. About 65 percent of the company's $3.8 billion in sales last year came before noon.

The company recently added smoothies and cookies to the menu. It is also looking at introducing a flatbread sandwich and a hot dog.

Dunkin' Brands, which also owns Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlors and Togo's sandwich stores, was sold to three U.S. private equity firms for $2.43 billion late last year.

But McKee said expansion plans were in place before that.

andrea.walker@baltsun.com

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