By Tom Westcott.
London, 29 December:
The Libyan sweet tooth has embraced American sticky buns at Tripoli’s Cinnabon outlet, where sales are three times higher than the chain’s global average.
Randy Mercer, regional vice president of international operations for Focus Brands, which owns Cinnabon, told Libya Herald: “Sales have continued to perform at three times the average unit volume of Cinnabon.” He added that the investors were pleased with the returns they were seeing on their capital.
Cinnabon’s Tripoli store was the first American franchise in Libya after the revolution, opened in July by brothers Arief and Ahmed Swaidek. More than two years in the planning, the bakery-cafe chain that specialises in sugary baked goods and cream-laden drinks was clearly a good business choice.
Tripoli’s Cinnabon, where the best-selling snack – the classic cinnamon roll – contains 59 grams of sugar, is popular with a range of customers. It attracts Libyan families with young children, teenagers and young adults as well as business clients.
More Cinnabon outlets are planned, with the chain’s main focus still on Tripoli for in immediate future. “Our next location will open in mid-February,” Mercer said, “across the street from the US Embassy.”
After this, Cinnabon has its eye on Benghazi where, Mercer says, it will soon be looking for locations.
Cinnabon opened its first bakery in Washington in 1985. Since then, the bakery-cafe has expanded to a global enterprise, with more than 900 stores in 51 countries.