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Häagen-Dazs marks Orange County as key territory for growth

It's part of the company's overall plan to open 25 new stores per year by 2014.

By Kristen SchottPublished: June 18, 2009 10:42 AM

There's a number of ice-cream and dessert shops spread throughout Orange County – and Häagen-Dazs is working to make that number grow. The franchisor of all-natural premium ice creams has targeted Orange County as a key area for expansion and plans to open one shop a year in the region over the next five years.

It's all part of the Minnesota-based company's plan to grow by 10 percent, opening 25 new stores per year in areas across the U.S. where the chain already exists.

Häagen-Dazs currently has some 260 stores, eight of which are in Orange County – in destinations such as South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island and the Orange County Fair. The company is refocusing its efforts in the region and is talking to several interested landlords to find the best real estate locations, according to Dan Ogiba, director of franchise development.

He says the company is looking at large shopping malls – both open air and enclosed – as well as life-style centers and busy pedestrian areas across the county.

"We like locations with movie theaters and other entertainment anchors," continues Ogiba. Of course – what better afternoon treat than a movie followed by a quick stop at an ice-cream shop?

But why is the chain expanding now – when the economic cycle is in a downturn?

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