Krispy Kreme will open the “first-of-its-kind flagship” in Times Square in early 2020.
Krispy Kreme is getting ready to turn on the world’s largest “Hot Light” and glaze waterfall.
After pushing back the opening of its first flagship location in New York City’s Times Square for several months amid the coronavirus pandemic, the 4,500-square-foot doughnut shop is scheduled to open Sept. 15.
In an interview with USA TODAY, CEO Michael Tattersfield said the location at Broadway and 48th Street will serve more guests annually than any of its nearly 1,400 stores in the world, which includes nearly 400 U.S. shops.
“When we first thought about opening this up we would have anticipated three-mile lines,” Tattersfield said. With COVID-19, “we wouldn’t want to have that happen so we will have a very disciplined approach.”
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To control crowds, the shop will use “remote queueing” and allow consumers to reserve a time to visit.
The Times Square flagship was first announced in June 2019 and will showcase the doughnut-making process featuring a glaze waterfall and have an outside walk-up window and “grab-and-go” counter that is open 24 hours a day. It will also sell a special commemorative “Big Apple Doughnut” inspired by candy apples sold at Coney Island.
The shop has two production lines that can make up to 380 dozen fresh, hot doughnuts per hour.
Krispy Kreme launched nationwide delivery Feb. 29 before the pandemic led to a temporary switch to drive-thru only. The brand also started selling new Doughnut Bites and Mini Crullers at Walmart stores nationwide in June.
“We can’t keep up with demand,” Tattersfield said. “We’re looking at how do we expand more product lines to Walmart.”
The company has opened more than 150 locations over the past two years and plans to add 450 shops by the end of 2022. The expansion plans come at a time when others have announced permanent closings.
McDonald’s is closing 200 of its 14,000 U.S. locations, Dunkin’ is closing 450 locations by the end of 2020 and Starbucks plans to close up to 400 company-owned locations over the next 18 months.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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