Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. plans to more than double the reach of its coffee and donut shops in the U.S. over the next 20 years – but the chain is still being cagey about whether and when it’ll head to California.
Last month, the Canton, Mass.-based company opened its 10,000th Dunkin’ Donuts location. That was in Xi’an, China. In the U.S., the company has nearly 7,000 pink and orange-festooned donut shops and plans to build out its domestic network with 7,000 more over the next two decades, it said this week.
By comparison, Starbucks has more than 17,000 locations around the world and says it will end 2012 with 800 more.
Dunkin’, a cult favorite for its coffee on the East Coast, has been in growth mode recently. The company went public in July and said in the fall that it was recruiting franchisees as far west as New Mexico.
But Dunkin’ is dancing around its intentions for California, a coffee-crazed market saturated with competitors such as as Starbucks and Jamba Juice and home base to the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
The Golden State used to have several Dunkin’ outposts, but the company pulled them out years ago. Dunkin’ still owns the Baskin-Robbins ice cream stores scattered across California.
For now, the chain is opting for an opaque statement: “The western part of the United States represents a significant growth opportunity for Dunkin’. … We remain focused on a steady, disciplined approach to development, moving out in a continuous fashion from market where we already have restaurants, providing for marketing and supply chain efficiencies.”
Added spokeswoman Karen J. Raskopf: “We believe there is tremendous potential for Dunkin’ Donuts to expand around the world, including, someday, in California.”