I have been working almost exclusively with the Cold Stone brand for 13+ years. And in that time, I have seen it bounce back from recession, the FroYo craze, change in Corporate ownership, through never ending new competition in this category and now, as we begin to emerge from the darkness and unknowingness of the past few months, I am watching it shine once again.
The quality and continued popularity of the product are the legs that have resulted in Cold Stone standing the test of time. But now, in addition to brand and product strength, it is the inherent nature of the concept, as it is for many QSR concepts, with take out, online ordering/pick up plus more and more delivery options than ever before that seem to be the formula for success. And, as the public emerges from their isolation, they will undoubtedly not be traveling to vacation destinations in the near future. However, they can and seemingly will go out for ice cream.
Sales across the brand are rebounding nicely and, in some markets, stores even saw increases in sales in April and May. Nationally, they ended May with year to date system wide numbers down just 7.8% which based on the inevitable dismal overall sales mid-March to mid-May is pretty impressive. They even had 9 days in May that were up over 2019 with 4 of those days being in the last week of the month. So yes, things are continuing to improve as our world reopens!
If you are looking for an ice cream business for sale or just a good business in general, look to a brand that has the longevity and built in nature to see it through these next months and years. Cold Stone just isn’t going anywhere and if I were to predict, it will be one of the concepts to come through this as an even stronger brand and opportunity.
EatZ & Associates