Why Krispy Kreme failed in Australia

No doubt you’ve heard the news about Krispy Kreme going into administration in Australia. Many people seemed surprised at the news given it was a such a successful launch. But when we look a little closer it’s pretty clear why they failed. They broke a few simple retail rules which are worth considering.

Why Krispy Kreme failed:

Firstly, they failed to understand that in this country they needed to operate as a specialty retailer. Instead they opened 50 stores in a few short years. When Krispy Kreme first opened their doors in this country (Sydney) it was a real treat and the store became a destination outlet. People would travel many miles to the store to buy a dozen doughnuts. You’d even see people returning on airplanes at Melbourne airport with big bags of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. It suggested that Kripsy Kreme had a strong novelty value in Australia. But it can be very misleading when people from wide spread geographies come you as a retailer of non essential items. Contrary to what the ‘spreadsheet’ might intimate, it’s rarely a good idea to take your retail offer to where they live.

To give you some perspective of the expansion folly, let’s consider this:

USA has 224 store serving population of 311 million. (1 store per 1.4m people)

Australia had 50 stores serving a population of 21 million. (1 store per 420K people)

The numbers are mind blowing and it doesn’t even take into account our vastly different food cultures.

The expansion was far too wide far too quick, and KK didn’t allow enough time to understand what their sustained demand would be prior to expansion. No doubt the temptation to expand rapidly during growth would be tempting, but sometimes the best decision we can make is to limit distribution and keep the brand exclusive.


Friends, fans and followers

Humans love to count. Here’s a list of some somethings we count obsessively:

  1. Our age
  2. Our money
  3. The value of our house
  4. Salaries
  5. The value of 401K (superannuation fund)
  6. Population
  7. Members
  8. Friends, Fans, Followers
  9. Hits, views, comments.
  10. Market share
  11. Percentage profit
  12. Traffic road toll

Really, we count almost everything. None of us are immune to this human symptom of counting. It’s the ultimate technique for organising and planning, in fact it’s what makes us top of the food chain.

So the question for startups is this: What are you tools are your creating that  your people count and compete with?


TED talks – What the world needs

This talk by Hans Rosling on population growth in the world is incredibly insightful. It goes for about 10 minutes and is worth the investment. His contention is that raising living standards in the poorest countries is the only way to reduce population growth.

Another thing I love is his presentation method and props. Very engaging and a method all entrepreneurs and marketers should consider. Enjoy!