Johnny Rockets inked the largest deal in the brand's history to open 100 store locations in China. The first of the new restaurants is scheduled to open in 2016.
The retailer is tackling the venture in partnership with Parkson Retail Group and AUM Hospitality, a food and beverage developer that currently works as a franchise partner and operator for Johnny Rockets in Malaysia. Parkson Retail Group is a department store operator with more than 130 stores, more than 60 of which are in China.
"We are excited to enter into a franchise relationship with this joint venture," said Scott Chorna, senior VP of international development for Johnny Rockets. "With AUM Hospitality's success in the food and beverage industry and Parkson Retail Group's proven track record in operating major retail outlets, this is an ideal partnership for Johnny Rockets' entry into China. Moreover, there is a strong demand in China for American brands as well as a growing middle class population with more spending power."
Johnny Rockets currently has 125 locations beyond the United States, specifically in Asian countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Korea and Indonesia. In China, the initial focus will be on developing the brand in malls and retail areas in Shanghai and Beijing.
China has become a popular international expansion location for U.S. retailers. For example, Walmart announced a plan in 2013 to add as many as 110 stores over three years in the country, while shutting down some outlets and remodeling dozens of other stores. And Macy's executives have recently made several trips to China to discuss the possibility of opening the department store chain overseas.
Johnny Rockets plans to double its number of international locations by 2017.
-See this Johnny Rockets press release
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