- Godiva plans to open 2,000 cafes within the next six years, according to the Associated Press. The stores will serve a menu of pastries, coffee and tea, grab-and-go sandwiches and other items.
- The first location will open in Manhattan on Wednesday and one-third of the cafes are expected to be in the U.S. Additional locations could open up in Asia and the Middle East, where there is a stronger preference among consumers to dine in.
- The cafes are part of CEO Annie Young-Scrivner's plan to increase revenue fivefold by 2025. The company plans to have 40% of its sales come from cafes in the next five years.
Godiva is entering a relatively crowded cafe field, but its reputation as a chocolatier could give it an edge over the likes of Starbucks, Dunkin' and Panera, all of which have been ramping up their food and beverage programs within the last year. Starbucks has also been upping the ante with its experience-focused Reserve Roastery rollouts, which offer more menu options, including alcoholic beverages.
Considering Godiva's food options will be heavily weighted toward grab-and-go items, especially in the U.S., it will be particularly competitive against these three brands, which offer online ordering and delivery to woo the consumer on the go. Godiva’s menu does include a few unique items, such as a croiffle, a croissant and waffle hybrid, and its pastries are made with its chocolate.
The company is already a $1 billion business and comes with an existing customer base as one of the largest retail chocolatiers, so it likely won't struggle to get customers in the door, especially since the beverage items will have chocolate undertones. It could also do particularly well with its expanding customer base in Asia, where it is expected to add 190 boutiques in China by the end of this year, according to Bloomberg.
The chocolatier plans to convert some of its traditional stores, which sell chocolate, some drip coffee and other treats, but the company is looking outside of its traditional mall locations with standalone storefronts and airports, according to the AP. With mall traffic declining sharply in recent years, brands tied to malls, like Auntie Anne's and Wetzel's Pretzels, have been looking outside these locations to continue growing. This strategy will be key for the likes of Godiva especially with its high sales goals.