Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. said Friday that it is planning to “establish a presence” in the Charlotte market as part of its long-term growth strategy.
There has been local speculation recently that the company is considering moving its headquarters out of Winston-Salem, its home since being founded by Vernon Rudolph in Old Salem on July 13, 1937.
The company has been privately held since July 2016 after being bought for $1.35 billion by JAB Beech, a subsidiary of JAB Holdings Inc., which is based in Germany.
At that time, JAB Beech pledged to retain local management, the headquarters and workforce. It has 150 headquarters employees and 554 overall in Forsyth County, according to the latest workforce total the company has provided to the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.
“We are maintaining Krispy Kreme’s global headquarters in Winston-Salem, the birthplace of the company, as we deeply value our heritage and attachment to this area,” spokeswoman Sarah Roof Garling said.
The company is “focused on transforming into a global company that continues to deliver joy around the world to every guest and in every community shop,” Garling said.
“As we seek to best position the business and our team for long-term success, we will also expand our presence to new cities,” including Charlotte, she said.
Garling declined to say what Krispy Kreme’s Charlotte presence would look like. It has one shop each in Charlotte and Matthews. It left the Charlotte market in 2008 and didn’t return until 2012.
Mike Tattersfield has served as Krispy Kreme’s chief executive since Jan. 1 after becoming its chairman as part of the JAB Beech purchase. Tattersfield has kept his chief executive duties with Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bagels, two other JAB brands.
Mayor Allen Joines said Friday that he reached out to have a conversation Thursday with Tattersfield after hearing rumors about the headquarters.
“He assured me that the headquarters will remain in Winston-Salem,” Joines said. “I asked him directly if I could make that statement to the press and he said ‘absolutely.'”
Garling cited as an example of taking a global approach that the president of its international division, Niren Chaudhary, is based in London.
The company said in September it has more than 1,300 retail shops in 31 countries counting the United States. It said in March it had opened its 1,000th international shop in Peru.
The last shop count before Krispy Kreme was taken private was in May 2016 was 1,133 – 114 company, 183 domestic franchise and 836 international franchise stores.
Management had stated a goal of having more than 900 international and 400 domestic shops by the end of 2017.
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