Knoops plots international expansion

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Knoops plots international expansion

Related tags Knoops Café Hot chocolate Multi-site QSR International expansion

Artisanal hot chocolate café concept Knoops has agreed its first international partnership to open sites in the Middle East, with expansion into the US and China also being discussed.

In an interview with The Times​, Knoops CEO William Gordon-Harris said he is seeking to ‘build a billion-dollar brand’ and has a goal of operating 3,000 stores globally by 2030.

Alongside securing an unnamed partner to launch in the Middle East, Gordon-Harris revealed the business is in negotiations to open stores in the US and China.

The group, which currently operates 17 sites in the UK will pursue a company-owned model for expansion rather than adopting a franchise format.

“The growth levels are absolutely enormous,” Gordon-Harris told The Times​.

“The Chinese partners we’re talking to at the moment scaled 3,000 to 4,000 units for one particular brand in 36 months.

“We set this up to scale. We’re an affordable luxury business but we are also a mass-market proposition. We’re a category killer. We have no competitors in the world that do what we do and I think that with the right ambition, combined with the right systems and people, I don’t believe there’s any way we can’t build a billion dollar brand here.”

Founded in East Sussex in 2013, Knoops has raised approximately £12m ($15.2m) to date to fund its expansion – including an £8.3m ($10.4m) investment round in November 2023​.

Knoops had previously announced plans to open 20 new UK stores this year as part of a goal to reach 200 UK outlets within the next four years.

The business is now seeking to open 40 new outlets across the country within the next 12 months, as part of plans to reach 300 UK stores by 2028.

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