Retail Pulse: Domino’s Opens 10,000th International Store; McDonald’s Buys Dynamic Yield


American quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are growing in markets around the world that are thousands of miles away from the United States. News recently surfaced that Domino’s marked a milestone with its international brick-and-mortar footprint: The company opened its 10,000th global location in the Luohu District of Shenzhen, China.

The new restaurant, which is located in the IBC Mall and is over 1,300 square feet, has an open-concept “pizza theater design” that lets diners observe the pizza-making. It also has indoor seating for diners along with a flat-screen television that shows order status “from the moment the order is placed to when it is out of the oven.” Frank Krasovec, chairman of Domino’s master China franchisee Dash Brands Ltd., said in an announcement, “Not only are we excited to open the 200th Domino’s location in mainland China, but we are thrilled that it marks the brand’s 10,000th store outside of the U.S.”

As it stands, the quick-service pizza chain has more than 15,900 stores in over 85 markets around the world and over half of its global retail sales are through international locations. Domino’s International Executive Vice President Joe Jordan said in the announcement, “The Domino’s brand is continuing its global growth momentum by opening new stores every day.” Jordan continued, “We’re incredibly proud to celebrate the opening of this milestone store, as it is located in a vivacious city bustling with eCommerce and technology enterprises. We look forward to bringing the best carryout and delivery experience to those in Shenzhen.”

Domino’s isn’t the only U.S. QSR chain that has hit a store count milestone in recent times: Starbucks recently opened its 30,000th location in the world in an international market. As was the case with Domino’s Pizza, the global coffee chain opened that store in Shenzhen. Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson said per reports about the opening earlier this month, “Over the past 48 years we have worked to build a different kind of company based on a mission grounded in the human experience, the world’s finest coffees, and a constant of pursuit of doing good.”

Starbucks is no stranger to China, as it has over 3,000 stores in operation in the country as of news in October, and another 2,000 are slated to open by 2021. The company builds more new company-operated stores in China than it does in its home country and the country was said to be the chain’s second largest and fastest growing market. More than 60 percent of Starbucks’ products in China are paid for digitally through the company’s mobile app, too.

From Starbucks to Domino’s, then, quick-service restaurants are turning to international markets for brick-and-mortar growth — as they celebrate global milestones with the opening of those locations.

In Other Brick-And-Mortar News

McDonald’s is acquiring artificial intelligence (AI)-powered personalization platform Dynamic Yield. The QSR chain is said to deploy the technology through customer touchpoints such as the McDonalds app and self-order kiosks along with its outdoor digital drive-thru menu displays. The term’s deals were not made public at the time of the report.

Dynamic Yield Chief Executive Liad Agmon said in a blog post, “Our acquisition by McDonald’s, one of the most iconic and beloved brands of our time, is truly an endorsement of that vision as they have chosen Dynamic Yield to help power personalization across their 37,000 restaurants in 120+ markets around the world.” As it stands, Dynamic Yield enables over 300 brands that span verticals such as retail, finance and travel across six continents.

In other news, Wayfair is planning to open a brick-and-mortar store at the Natick Mall in Massachusetts in early fall. Shoppers will be able to buy a selection of products at the store and also have orders delivered to them at their homes. At the store, home design experts will also provide shoppers with design consultations. And the firm reportedly plans to open four pop-up shops during the summer beyond the mall store.

Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah said in an announcement for the store, “With the opening of our new retail store, we are offering our customers a new way to enjoy Wayfair’s exceptional shopping experience as we continue to transform the way people shop for their homes.” Shah continued, “We look forward to inviting our customers further into the world of Wayfair, welcoming them to step inside our newest shopping experience guided by the knowledgeable support and expertise of our in-store design team.”

On another note, 7-Eleven is allowing customers to test out and purchase the newest innovations from the retailer with a recently opened “lab store” in Dallas. The location has technology that lets shoppers use their phones for payments and stocks products that range from craft beers to handmade tortillas. The store also has a taqueria from the Laredo Taco Company along with a space dubbed “The Cellar” that has a wine and craft beer selection.

7‑Eleven Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Tanco said in an announcement that the convenience store retailer “stays at the forefront by pushing the boundaries and being unafraid to try new things.” Tanco continued, “This new lab store will serve as a place to test, learn and iterate new platforms and products to see what really resonates with customers and how we can use those learnings to influence future store designs.”

To keep tabs on the latest retail trends, check next week’s Retail Pulse.


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