- The Washington Times - Monday, January 6, 2003

Krispy Kreme is glazing over the Washington market. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based doughnut chain plans to expand its sweet treats in the Washington area with four new stores this year.
The first new location will open Jan. 28 in Alexandria next to the existing Krispy Kreme wholesale operation and retail store that has been producing those Hot Original Glazed delicacies for 30 years.
The old retail store on Richmond Highway is shutting doors Jan. 13 to make room for the new, upgraded 5,600-square-foot store. That location will have seating for up to 54 persons 42 more seats than the old store, says Benny Angle, operations director in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
The wholesale operation in Alexandria will remain open in its existing space for now, but the company plans to look for a new location in the area, Mr. Angle says. That outlet produces about 100,000 dozen doughnuts a week and has about 700 to 800 regional clients, such as supermarkets and convenience stores.
Mr. Angle says Krispy Kreme also is looking for three retail sites in Falls Church and in Rockville and Columbia, Md. Each store will have 80 to 100 employees working at various stages of the doughnut-making process and serving the customers.
The 65-year-old company could open even more sites in the Washington area and in the Baltimore market, Mr. Angle says, but he would not disclose specifics.
Krispy Kreme doesn't have much of a store presence here. In addition to the Alexandria shop, the company has only one store in Richmond and four stores in Baltimore.
"As we developed, the company wanted to get into areas where we had no presence at all," says Mr. Angle, who has worked for Krispy Kreme for more than 25 years. "Then we would come back and penetrate those markets."
Big spenders
Shoppers opened their wallets this holiday season more than they had expected.
Consumers spent an average of $1,558 per household, according to a Dec. 27-29 survey by the International Mass Retail Association (IMRA). That was up from the average $863 that shoppers predicted they would spend this season when asked by the IMRA in October. It also was about 38 percent more than what consumers spent last year.
"This may turn out to be a better retail season than various analysts are predicting," says IMRA President Sandra L. Kennedy. "Holiday shoppers are telling us they spent far more than they had predicted in October, and this year they may have spread their dollars over several types of retailers, including online."
The pace of holiday shopping remained about the same as last year's despite the shorter season, IMRA says. More than half of those surveyed completed their shopping the last week before Christmas, and about 22 percent finished on Christmas Eve.
Winter forecast
Winter travel will increase only slightly this season compared with travel last winter, says the latest forecast by the Travel Industry Association.
Americans are expected to take 139 million person-trips for pleasure during the three-month period of December, January and February. That is up a half-percent from the same period last year. A person-trip involves one person making a one-way trip 50 miles or more from home.
The slower growth this season follows an 8 percent jump in travel last winter from the 2000-01 season.
Got news? Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Retail & Hospitality appears every other Monday.

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