A local scandal hasn’t dampened Retail Food Group’s international ambitions, with the franchise giant announcing that its troubled Gloria Jeans brand will expand into Germany.
A 10-year master franchise agreement has been signed with a group of local businessmen who are slated to open 40 Gloria Jeans outlets in Germany over the next five years.
The deal follows a slate Master Franchise Agreements signed by RFG across the Donut King and Crust Pizza Gourmet Pizza brands in recent months as it looks to diversify its operations outside of Australia.
Gloria Jeans already has master franchise deals in the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania but Germany will considerably bolster its presence outside of eastern-Europe.
The first German Gloria Jeans store will be in Cologne and will open by the middle of this year.
Retail Food Group has been embarking on a modernization plan for the coffee brand recently, unveiling new store concepts to try and excite shoppers after sales from its beverages division struggled to gain traction last year.
RFG’s chief executive of international Mike Gilbert said Europe was an important market for the business and that Gloria Jeans was positioned for success in Germany.
“Germany has a growing speciality coffee market and Gloria Jean’s Coffees has an outstanding offering to meet that need. It’s an offering that is already very successful with close to 900 outlets throughout the world,” he said.
“Retail Food Group is actively marketing our brands in Europe and see this region as a key part of our international growth strategy.”
International has been one of the few bright spots for RFG in recent months as it navigates slowing trading and the fall-out from media reports that its business model is treating franchisees poorly.
In March the business booked a $87.8 million half-year loss, flagging the closure of up to 200 stores of its thousand-plus stores.
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