Auntie Anne's turns 25 on Feb. 2. To celebrate, the company is reporting milestones reached in 2012, including 202 new stores, of which 117 were in the U.S. Additionally last year, Auntie Anne's entered six new countries and opened its 300th international location.
Auntie Anne's 25th birthday also comes on the heels of the chain's 1,000th domestic opening, which occurred in Elizabethtown, Ky. on Dec. 24, 2012. That unit is owned and operated by first-time Auntie Anne's franchise partner and military veteran, Dwayne Mollison.
Auntie Anne's 1,000th domestic opening concluded a year in which the system earned its 23rd year of positive sales growth.
The 1,330-unit chain continues to set its sights on growth in traditional locations such as malls and outlet centers, as well as in non-traditional spaces including universities, airports, Walmarts, travel plazas, and military bases. It projects opening 100 new stores in the U.S. throughout 2013.
"Auntie Anne's has not only withstood the test of time for a quarter century, but it has also grown at a steady pace while expanding its appeal to new consumers at home and abroad," said Bill Dunn, president and COO of Auntie Anne's. "The opening of our 1,000th domestic store wrapped up a memorable company year, and it speaks volume to all those who have been involved with our brand over the last 25 years."
Since the company's inception in 1988, Auntie Anne's has put a major emphasis on international expansion. Last year, the company opened more than 80 international units and entered six new countries including Jamaica, Jordan, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Russia and Panama. Additionally, the Lancaster, Pa.-based company opened its 100th Thailand-based unit.
Plans call for more than 118 locations to open overseas in 2013. Targeted countries for additional growth include Vietnam, Bahamas, India, Aruba, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, France and Brunei.
"From the food to the culture, Auntie Anne's boasts universal appeal, and that's a primary reason why we've been able to surpass 300 international units," said Mike Shattuck, president of parent company FOCUS Brands International. "We are thrilled by the consumer response we see when Auntie Anne's enters a new country. Building our global brand presence has substantial value for us, and we've cracked the code to achieving sustained success."
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