Baskin-Robbins has recently opened four new restaurants featuring the brand’s new global Happy 1.0 design, and has five more openings scheduled within the next two months.
The new stores are at Mount Lawley in Western Australia, Hervey Bay, Coolum, Chatswood Central in Queensland as well as the Cavill Mall restaurant on the Gold Coast.
A number of existing restaurants are undergoing refurbishments to upgrade to the new global store design including Fremantle and Joondalup in Western Australia, Camberwell in Victoria and Circular Quay in Sydney.
Ian Martin, general manager of Baskin-Robbins Australia, told Franchising, "We'll definitely open 25 stores this year, and we're hoping to open more.
"We have two very clear strategies. The traditional retail footprint will be focused on Queensland and WA; in the southern states we're trialling kiosks in shopping centres.
"Generally retail in Victoria and New South Wales is different to Queensland and WA, but it's amplified in ice cream, it's very much shopping centre driven."
However, the home base of Queensland is likely to see the first kiosk open within the next six weeks.
Kiosks and traditional stores will both sport the new livery. Martin said the new look is "a much more contemporary feel without losing the fun. It highlights the indulgent aspect of an ice cream parlour".
"We're very cautious about getting the economics right. We did a lot of work for six to eight months, and we've taken the costs out of store construction and redesigned stores. It's a fantastic look and we're building the stores cheaper."
Improved franchisee economics is the first part of strategy introduced when the company took over the brand in October 2010.
"We've been improving the marketing calendar, getting greater relevance to full day and extending our offer beyond the cup and cone."
- Last year's introduction of a range of premium ice cream cakes, the Signature range, has helped improve franchisee sales of non-cup and cone product.
- There have been a number of strategies to promote the secondary focus on beverages, including the launch last month of yogurt smoothies made from real fruit.
- A new range of hot winter warmers to accompany ice cream will be released in June.
Read more about the US company Dunkin Brands and Baskin-Robbins Australia