Krispy Kreme, the US-based doughnut manufacturer and retailer, has revealed the location of its first European outlet - inside the world's best known department store, Harrods.
The company announced last year that it would begin European operations in the UK and Irish markets, where it plans to open around 25 stores over the next five years, but it will be hard pressed to find a location more auspicious than the Knightsbridge-based department store favoured by the royal family.
The store will open in October and will include Krispy Kreme's doughnut-making theatre, allowing customers to see the doughnuts being made from start to finish. Krispy Kreme will have its own designated street access enabling early morning purchases and plans to begin serving doughnuts at 7.00 each morning.
"This is a landmark event in Krispy Kreme's history," said Scott Livengood, Krispy Kreme's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "This marks our second store outside of North America, and our first in Europe. Harrods is an icon in the retail industry and we are extremely proud of this partnership. We look forward to a long and successful relationship as we continue to greet new customers in this part of the world."
Don Henshall, managing director of Krispy Kreme UK, the exclusive area developer for Krispy Kreme in Britain, echoed Livengood's sentiments: "Harrods is a well-known London institution and is the perfect location for our UK debut. We are excited about introducing Harrods customers and the central London community to Krispy Kreme's unique hot doughnut experience."
Although some critics might consider that Harrods is 'dumbing down' by partnering with the American firm, the company clearly sees a major advantage in being the fist European location for what is an American icon.
"Harrods is delighted to be the first retailer in Europe to offer its customers the Krispy Kreme experience. The level of excitement the announcement has already generated around London suggests that the partnership of these two brands will be a huge success," said the store's spokesman, Peter Willasey.
Harrods is of course hugely popular with tourists, and especially American tourists, so the logic of opening the store there is clear. But persuading the locals to swap their bacon rolls or even their croissants for a hot doughnut on the way to work may prove more difficult. Other doughnut retailers - notably Allied Domecq's subsidiary Dunkin' Donuts - have failed to take off in the UK, and it will be interesting to see if Krispy Kreme can succeed where others have failed.
The company has certainly proved that it can make money in the US, where it has more than 300 retail locations in 41 US states. It also operates in Canada and Australia. An estimated 7.5 million Krispy Kreme doughnuts are made every day and more than 2.7 billion are produced each year