California-based quick-service pretzel-themed concept Wetzel’s Pretzels is planning a Canada-wide expansion that could see dozens of locations open coast-to-coast over the next several years. The expansion will include mall kiosks as well as in-line retail spaces.
Wetzels’s Pretzels serves hand rolled/baked fresh pretzels in a variety of flavours that can be paired with dipping sauces, as well as hot dogs (called 'Wetzel Dogs’), pretzel ‘Bitz’, as well as frozen and fresh lemonade. The company was founded by Rick Wetzel and Bill Phelps in suburban Los Angeles in 1994, and it now has more than 300 locations globally, most of which are in the United States.
Wetzel’s Pretzels opened its first Canadian location as a kiosk at West Edmonton Mall in the spring of 2014, and its only two Canadian locations are currently in the mall. Edmonton-based entrepreneur Cory Reddekopp is leading Wetzel’s Pretzel’s Canadian expansion, and is seeking out operating partners for markets across the country. Wetzel’s Pretzels is seeking mall kiosk spaces as well as small retail spaces in busy malls — ideally not in a food court, however, with Mr. Reddekopp explaining that Wetzel’s is often an impulse purchase, and stands on its own as a destination. Wetzel’s also has locations in outlet centres, theme parks, train stations, airports, and within deleted discount retail stores.
Wetzel's Pretzels is popular -- this week, Kim Kardashian Tweeted about it to her 55+ million Twitter followers:
Mr. Reddekopp explained that the West Edmonton Mall locations are highly successful, and that the chain is expected to see similar success in centres nationally as it expands. He's already secured several potential locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.
The plan is to open approximately 30 locations in Canada over the next five years or so, with the potential to ultimately open as many as 70-100 locations nationally. Mr. Reddekopp explained that British Columbia could see 10-15 locations, Alberta could see about 10 stores, and that Ontario could see even more. There’s also the opportunity to open Wetzel’s Pretzels concessions within larger host retailers, if the opportunity presents.
Cory Reddekopp will be at the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centres) Canada Conference in Toronto on October 2-4, and welcomes discussions with interested potential operating partners, as well as landlords interested in hosting a Wetzel’s Pretzels location. You may reach Mr. Reddekopp at: email@example.com or: 1-587-985-1295.
*All photos are courtesy of Wetzel's Pretzel's.