Sat, Dec 01, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Gourmet Master Co to launch third outlet in California

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Gourmet Master Co Ltd (美食達人), which operates the popular 85°C (85度C) chain, is scheduled to launch its third outlet in California — the first outlet in the region wholly owned by the company — in the middle of this month.

The company plans to expand its 85°C bakery-and-coffee chain in the US to 20 outlets within five years to raise revenue and profitability.

“The sales and profitability of outlets in the US show the strongest momentum,” Chris Lee (李翰霖), vice president of investor relations at Gourmet Master, told an investors’ conference yesterday.

Therefore, Gourmet Master has shifted its strategy in the US to opening more wholly-owned outlets, compared with the original plan to launch outlets in joint ventures with US companies, Lee said.

The company has two 85°C outlets located around Los Angeles, with more stores set to be launched in the city.

Compared with the US market, Lee said Gourmet Master may open outlets in Taiwan and China at a slower pace next year, while focusing more on increasing sales at its existing stores.

However, the China market would remain the major source of the company’s sales in the near future, Lee added.

NEW OUTLETS

Under a preliminary plan, the company — which has 360 85°C outlets in China — may launch 50 to 100 outlets in China next year, down from 110 new outlets expected to open this year.

Lee said most of next year’s new Chinese stores would be located in cities that have existing 85°C outlets, as the company has more experience of boosting sales in those areas.

Meanwhile, Gourmet Master may launch more outlets in second-tier and third-tier cities in China in the long term, as it is eyeing stronger growth in private consumption in these regions, Lee added.

The company posted consolidated sales of NT$978.7 million (US$33.61 million) last month, up 16.08 percent from the previous year, but down 4.05 percent from September, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

Annual growth in revenue in early October slowed due to China’s week-long national holiday, but Lee said momentum has been gradually improving since the middle of last month and that could continue until the end of the year.

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