Cold Stone Creamery to open 40 stores in India
Cold Stone has made signing franchise agreements in overseas markets a key point of the company's growth plan. - Supplied photo
Abu Dhabi - Tablez Food Company plans to invest around $13 million in the Cold Stone Creamery business across India and Sri Lanka.
Tablez Food Company, the food and beverage arm of Lulu International Group, will open 40 outlets of Cold Stone Creamery, an ice cream brand, in India in the next five years along with five outlets in Sir Lanka.
The first location is expected to open in a mall in Kochi, India, this November.
Tablez Food Company plans to invest around $13 million in the Cold Stone Creamery business across India and Sri Lanka, said Shafeena Yussuf Ali, chairwoman of Tablez.
"Cold Stone Creamery offers the best quality product and an amazing in-store experience that the international market has embraced for a number of years," she said.
Kahala Brands, Cold Stone's parent company, recently signed master franchise agreements with Tablez Food Company, that has brought a number of franchise concepts to India, Sri Lanka and the UAE, including Famous Dave's, a barbecue concept in the US, and Genghis Grill, an Asian grill house also based in the US.
"Tablez is a leading organisation in India and is a perfect fit for the Cold Stone Creamery brand," Eddy Jimenez, Kahala senior vice-president of international operations and development, said in a statement. "They specialise in unique, home-grown and international cuisines, and have acquired the rights to many leading franchise concepts."
Tablez is part of Lulu International Group, a diversified company with operations in more than 20 countries in industries including retail, imports/exports, trading, shipping, IT, tourism and education.
Cold Stone has made signing franchise agreements in international markets a key point of the company's growth plan, Kahala chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Michael Serruya said.
Serruya and his brothers, Aaron and Simon, acquired Kahala in 2013. "One of the factors that weighed into our initial acquisition of the company was understanding its international capabilities," he said. While the initial deal is to open 40 stores in India, Serruya said he believes there could soon be hundreds of stores in that market.
"Our team has done a phenomenal job of identifying the right partner. That is the key to success in these foreign markets," Serruya said. "If you don't have the right partner, you can be doomed."
International markets are the easiest place for a franchise concept to fail, Serruya said. He said it speaks volumes of the Cold Stone brand on its success in so many different countries.
Cold Stone has more than 300 operating international locations, in more than 25 countries. Nearly 10 years ago, the company opened its first location outside the US in Tokyo.