Mon, Oct 14, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Gourmet Master plans store upgrades

SOMETHING’S BREWING:The cafe chain operator believes the revamped outlets will make 30% more revenue. It is also planning aggressive expansion in the US

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter, in GREATER TAICHUNG

Gourmet Master Co (美食達人), which operates the popular cafe and bakery chain 85oC (85度C), has targeted to raise sales by revamping all of its current outlets in three years, a company official said on Saturday.

By upgrading current stores with new equipment, product mixes and additional indoor seats, the so-called “second-generation store” will see sales grow 30 percent from current levels, chief executive officer James Hsieh (謝健南) said.

Hsieh made the remark after the company held an opening ceremony for its first second-generation store in Greater Taichung.

The company plans to open more stores in cities, he said. In the past, the company tended to open stores in suburban areas.

The company expects that customers will spend more at the upgraded stores, estimating they will spend between NT$100 (US$3.41) and NT$110 each, compared with current levels of between NT$70 and NT$80.

Currently, Gourmet Master runs 758 outlets globally, with 345 in Taiwan, 400 in China, four in Hong Kong, five in Australia and four in the US.

Hsieh said Gourmet Master also plans to double the number of outlets in the US to nine by the end of this year and raise the number to 30 next year.

With the first US central kitchen starting operations last week, “we would like to speed up the pace of launching more outlets,” he said, adding that each US store can generate sales of about US$6 million, eight times higher than one in China.

Earlier last week, Gourmet Master reported NT$1.53 billion in consolidated revenue last month, up 13.6 percent from a year ago and 16.1 percent from the previous month, marking the highest monthly sales level in history, the company said in a statement.

Deutsche Bank analyst Joelian Tseng (曾慧瓊) said the company’s better-than-expected sales for last month were due to the continued recovery of its same store sales growth in China.

Tseng said in a research note that Gourmet Master’s plan to open more stores in the US would help boost the company’s profitability in the long term, as US outlets enjoy higher per store revenue and margins than others.

From January through last month, Gourmet Master posted cumulative revenue of NT$11.21 billion, an increase of 12 percent from a year earlier.

Shares of Gourmet Master closed at NT$209 on Friday, rising 10 percent since the beginning of the year, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

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