In Focus
LEGAL | Staff Reporter, UK
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EXCLUSIVE: Dessert café brand Creams continues expansion as system sales rise

The chain has 88 stores.

Dessert café brand Creams is set to open more stores, building on its strong performance for the 52-week period ended 31st March 2020.

The 88-store chain said FY20 Group system sales were up 3% year-on-year to £43.4 million compared to last year’s £42 million against a backdrop of challenging trading conditions in the rest of the UK casual dining market and the severe impact of COVID-19 on trading.

Delivery sales through Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats grew to represent 24% of group system sales in FY20 compared to 14% of the year prior.

“We are pleased to say we performed extremely well during lockdown, mainly due to our quick response as a business,” the chain told QSR Media in an interview.

The chain opened eight new Creams Cafes during FY20 and welcomed 4.3 million customers. Approximately 50 million scoops of gelato, 1.7 million waffles and 1 million milkshakes were served.

Despite the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown, Creams said the start of the financial year has been “exceptional” with a 67% increase in delivery sales for the year-to-date supported by successful marketing campaigns, including their Creams Heroes Campaign and the exclusive brand partnership with The Cheesecake Factory Bakery cheesecakes.

The chain said it is currently looking at a number of collaborations both with food and lifestyle brands that resonate with our millennials, Gen-Zers and young families.

Group system sales in June were up 103% compared to April 2020, following the gradual reopening of the majority of our stores. There was also a 132% increase in order volumes in June 2020 compared to April 2020.

Two Creams stores are due to open on London’s Old Street and in Morden, and a further five in the pipeline scheduled for the next few months.

“Our foot is still on the gas, we have not halted or slowed down our growth strategy in terms of new store openings,” the chain said.

From their perspective, they feel the hospitality industry will need more government support with rent concessions and assistance, appealing to landlords “if the high street is to survive.”

“Unfortunately for other fast casual dining businesses on the high street, they may not be so lucky. The hospitality industry has suffered in recent years, while the new schemes provided by the government helps prop up failing fast casual dining businesses with VAT concessions and help out to eat out schemes, this could be a short term solution which may eventually see them close. Creams as a brand has remained relevant with our unique experiential offering, customer proposition (and) ability to adapt to ongoing changes,” it said.

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