Krispy Kreme Returns To Charlotte

Krispy Kreme Returns To Charlotte

Monday, September 24, 2012

After closing all of its Charlotte area stores due to falling revenue, Krispy Kreme has opened its first Charlotte location in four years – a 2,800-square-foot building off of North Sharon Amity Road.

Dozens of people camped outside Sunday night for their chance to get a year’s worth of free Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

The new store opened this morning at 6am with a ribbon cutting at 11am. The first person in line received a dozen free glazed doughnuts every week for a year. The 98 people in line behind them got a dozen free glazed doughnuts once a month for a year. The first 100 also received a Krispy Kreme t-shirt.

The Winston-Salem-based company sold its first doughnut in 1937. After going public in 2000, it became a Wall Street darling, with stores as far north as New York City and a stock price that once topped $50.

At its height in the middle of the decade, it had opened more than 400 stores, according to securities filings.

But the rapid expansion was unsustainable. A 2005 lawsuit accused former management of hiding evidence of dropping sales and profits. The company settled the case for $4.75 million.

Healthy eating trends also had an effect. So did competition from other chains, such as Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts has a dozen stores in Charlotte, according to its website.

More than 240 U.S. Krispy Kreme stores closed between 2004 and 2009, according to securities filings, including every store in Charlotte. The store on Woodlawn Road turned off its “Hot Now” sign for good in 2008.

The company mounted a comeback by opening stores in Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South Korea and the Middle East. And at least one more Krispy Kreme is planned in the University City area.

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