Mrs. Fields was first launched in Palo Alto, California in 1977, and is now one of the largest retailers of freshly baked, on-premises specialty cookies and brownies in the US. Its franchise systems include over 300 franchised and licensed locations throughout the US and in 22 other countries.
Since the early 1990’s, Mrs Fields’ Famous Brands has opened branches in China, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. According to Mrs Fields’ Regional Operations Manager for Asia-Pacific, Chito Lumanlan, in 2007, the previous franchisee pre-terminated the brand agreement in Thailand, due to their conflicting views on the brand’s business model.
This month, DKSH (Thailand), the local arm of the DSKH Group, a Switzerland-based market expansion services enterprise, is re-introducing the globally beloved cookies to Thai consumers. The first branch is now open at Siam Paragon and the company is planning to open 4 additional branches this year and 10 more next year.
DKSH’s Food Retail Business Manager, Kayvalee Wongprecha, said the company realizes the promising growth potential of this business sector given premium-branded soft cookies is a virtually untapped market in Thailand. According to Ms Kayvalee, the company is confident that they will be able to fill the opportunity gap and build a stronger brand presence in the kingdom.
Mr Lumanlan said that Mrs Fields is hoping their new pan-Asian expansion project would surpass the level of success the previous licensee had achieved, with 17 stores precendently launched across the region.
He added that Mrs Fields stores are also expected to be debuted in new markets such as Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia, with a goal of opening 30 more stores in 5 years.