Bakers Delight Keeps on Rising

Date: JAN 17th, 2007

Topic: Franchise News And Advice

Bakers Delight, Australia''s most successful retail bakery chain continues to experience significant growth and will take its first slice of the American market in March 2007, with the opening of a Seattle store.

The announcement of its American expansion coincides with the opening of Bakers Delight's 700th store, in Vancouver, Canada, trading under the COBS Bread brand name and its first Bakers Delight stores in the central business districts of Melbourne and Adelaide.

Bakers Delight joint CEO, Lesley Gillespie, said the company had opened 38 stores in Canada since 2003, and therefore felt confident to take on the more aggressive American market.

"Overseas expansion is an important long term business plan, and the American market offers a lucrative opportunity to tap into a potential customer base of 300 million people.

"When we first looked at expanding beyond Australia and New Zealand, we chose Vancouver, Canada as our entry point to the North American continent because of the similarities to the Australian market. Now that we understand the North American region we’re ready to tackle parts of the US.

“It was a logical step to approach America through Seattle because of its proximity to Vancouver. The cities share cultural and consumer similarities that we’re already familiar with,” explained Lesley.

Bakers Delight will fund its American expansion through Australian revenues. The North American market will continue to expand where it expects to operate over 100 stores within two years.

Similarly to Australia, the North American business will have both company owned and franchised bakeries. However, in North America the percentage of company owned bakeries will be significantly higher than those franchised; the aim is to increase this franchise percentage.

“The growth being experienced in North America means there are a lot of exciting franchise opportunities.”

About Bakers Delight:

Bakers Delight, Australasia's largest bakery franchise, was established in 1980 as a single bakery on Glenferrie Road in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn. Bakers Delight celebrated its 25th birthday in 2005 and boasts 700 bakeries employing more than 15,000 people, serving 2.5 million regular customers per week throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

Bakers Delight has been a major corporate partner of the Breast Cancer Network Australia since 2000, raising more than $1.4 million over the past six years. Bakers Delight also donates over $53 million in bread to charities each year. In 2004 an independent corporate citizenship study named Bakers Delight, the leading corporate citizen among a large number of reputable organisations.