Monday, February 2, 2009

Baskin-Robbins Opens Atlanta for Franchise Sales; Plans More Than 60 New Stores

/PRNewswire/ -- Baskin-Robbins, America's favorite neighborhood ice cream shop, shares its plans to rapidly expand its national footprint with today's announcement that Atlanta is now open for franchise sales. More than 60 new stores are projected over the next several years throughout Atlanta and the surrounding region. This unprecedented growth campaign is designed as part of a plan to double Baskin-Robbins' U.S. presence over time and is based on a diversified concept portfolio, expanded and comprehensive menu, and system-wide operational simplicity.

Built over the last 63 years, Baskin-Robbins currently enjoys 98% brand awareness. Most recently, Baskin-Robbins was named for the second consecutive year the number one ice cream and frozen dessert franchise, in Entrepreneur magazine's Annual "Franchise 500" ranking. This widespread recognition now makes it the opportune time to own large geographic territories in and around Atlanta and operate multi-store networks of five-to-31 or more locations with limited exclusivity.

"As the Baskin-Robbins brand continues to develop in Atlanta, we're now looking for large area developers in the Metro Atlanta area with strong financial backgrounds, a passion for their local communities and a desire to manage multiple stores," said Salman Siddiqui, vice president of franchising and development, Baskin-Robbins. "We are excited to provide large-area developers with premium territories to maximize their region's potential and set the direction of the market's growth."

Baskin-Robbins opened more than 600 stores globally in 2008, marking the highest single-year new unit openings in the company's history. With a domestic footprint of more than 2,700 locations, Baskin-Robbins currently operates four locations in and around Atlanta and 35 stores across Georgia. Baskin Robbins' Atlanta launch is part of an aggressive growth strategy which includes expanding in existing markets including California, Florida and Texas, while continuing its growth in South Carolina, North Carolina and Indiana, to name a few.

Baskin-Robbins begins 2009 with a diversified concept portfolio that includes design concepts that will provide interested large area developers with flexible real estate options. The traditional concept is an updated version of the stand-alone store featuring all of Baskin-Robbins' standard equipment and offerings. The recently launched BR Express concept is a simplified design offering a convenient and specialized solution for malls, sports arenas, airports or other real estate opportunities under 200 square feet. There is also the revolutionary "Cafe 31" model that is currently in test and operates as a high-end dessert bar with unique ice cream and coffee products.

"By continuing our history of developing new product innovations and keeping our focus on customer service for our franchisees, Baskin-Robbins is well positioned for growth in 2009 and beyond," said Siddiqui. "We share a common objective with our franchisees and large-area developers, which focuses on building the business in this increasingly challenging economy."

Furthering its commitment to its franchisees, Baskin-Robbins also offers a range of support systems including: complete training, site selection support, design, construction, marketing, and technology assistance. Baskin-Robbins has proven to be a simple business to run with convenient hours of operation, minimal equipment, little waste and a majority of inventory that has a shelf life of one year with proper storage.

"Baskin-Robbins will satisfy a growing demand in Atlanta for high-quality ice cream, specialty frozen desserts and beverages," said Siddiqui. "Over the past 63 years, Baskin-Robbins has become the brand of choice for consumers and has consistently delighted them with our irresistible flavors and treats. We look forward to being an important part of the Metro Atlanta community."

More than six decades ago, Baskin-Robbins was founded by ice cream enthusiasts Burton "Burt" Baskin and Irvine "Irv" Robbins who shared a dream to create an innovative ice cream store that would be a neighborhood gathering place for families. Today, more than 300 million people visit Baskin-Robbins each year to sample from the more than 1,000 flavors available in its ice cream library, as well as enjoy its full array of frozen treats including ice cream cakes, frozen beverages and sundaes.

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