Auntie Anne’s has opened four new stores in the UK and Ireland last month and six in the past nine months. The pretzel retail franchise, which currently has 17 stores operating in the UK and Ireland, is looking to continue its expansion and is planning to open a further store before Christmas.

The latest stores opened in major shopping centres: the Metrocentre, Gateshead; the Oracle in Reading; St David’s in Cardiff; and Festival Place, Basingstoke. The next few weeks will also see the final 2011 new store open in the Friary, Guildford, the recently refurbished shopping centre operated by Westfield.

Robert Burton, Managing Director and owner of the Auntie Anne’s Master Franchise in the UK and Ireland, said: “Despite the climate of austerity in the UK, demand for Auntie Anne’s pretzels remains strong and we see no reason to divert from our ambitious expansion plans. We have some equally ambitious franchise owners who are doing a fantastic job creating local jobs, some of which are now multiple franchise owners. We believe Auntie Anne’s makes the best hand rolled soft pretzels in the world and this shows in our strong business performance. 2012 will be a very exciting year for us.”

There are a number of store formats on offer to franchise owners. The most popular is the Kiosk unit situated in prime busy shopping centres. Other formats include small shops, again based in prime high-footfall locations within major shopping centres in the UK and Ireland. Auntie Anne’s is also targeting airports and major transportation centres, as these have proved to be very successful in the USA.

Franchise owners serve a range of fresh sweet and savoury soft hand rolled pretzels, along with proprietary drinks such as Auntie Anne’s freshly squeezed lemonade and Dutch Ice.

Auntie Anne’s, which originates and is based in the USA, now operates over 1,200 stores worldwide. It has over 800 stores in the USA, as well as locations in China, Thailand, Philippines and the Middle East.

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