85C cafe expects strong sales in Seattle store’s first month

Taipei--Gourmet Master Co. (????), which operates the 85C Bakery Cafe chain, said Saturday that its new outlet in Seattle is expected to generate at least US$600,000 in sales in the first month after the store opened earlier this week.

The Seattle store, which held its grand opening in Westfield Southcenter Mall in the Tukwila area on Feb. 24, is the chain's 26th location in the U.S. market.

According to Gourmet Master, the new store has raked in more than US$16,000 in revenue every day since it opened on a trial basis on Feb. 14, with the average purchase about US$26.

Sales have been growing steadily since the grand opening, Gourmet Master said, leading the company to project sales of at least US$600,000 in the store's first month of operations.

The new Seattle store, with a space of about 452 square meters and 32 seats, is part of the chain's strategy to extend its reach beyond California and Texas.

The Taiwanese chain said it will use the Seattle outlet as its flagship store in the Pacific Northwest to develop the market there and serve more consumers in ethnic Chinese communities.

Since 85C cafe chain gained a foothold in the U.S. market, each of its 25 stores has averaged about NT$130 million (US$4.25 million) in sales annually, Gourmet Master said.

Its U.S. operations currently account for about 15 percent of the cafe chain's total sales, which hit US$22.07 billion in 2016, up 7.89 percent from a year earlier.

Because its stores in the U.S. market command a higher profit margin than in other markets, 85C cafe chain opened six new outlets there in 2016 alone.

After opening the Seattle shop, the cafe chain is planning to boost the number of its U.S. stores to 40 by the end of this year, and push the U.S. operation's share of the company's total sales to 20 percent.

Currently, 85C cafe chain runs a total of 978 stores worldwide, including 538 in China, 400 in Taiwan, six in Australia and eight in Hong Kong, and employs 23,000 people.

The chain said it will continue to expand its global sales network and hoped to increase the number of outlets to about 1,020 by the end of this year.

In the first three quarters of 2016, Gourmet Master posted NT$8.35 in earnings per share, up from NT$5.32 in EPS over the same period of the previous year.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel