Cold Stone Creamery to open first Japanese store

by Staff
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SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. — Cold Stone Creamery Tuesday announced plans to open its first store in Tokyo. With the company's strategic partner, KIACON, Cold Stone Creamery's first franchise is slated to open during the fall of 2005.

Doug Ducey, Cold Stone Creamery chairman and chief executive officer, said, "We are very pleased to have KIACON as our partner, and look forward to making every day a great day for ice cream for the ice cream lovers of Japan."

To carry out the company's international expansion in Japan, Cold Stone has partnered with Lawrence Maltz, chairman of Borderless Investment Group Inc., to form Cold Stone Creamery Japan. Mr. Maltz was the original chief operating officer of Starbucks Coffee Co. and has considerable experience introducing American brands in Asia.

After retirement from Starbucks, Borderless Investment Group facilitated Starbucks' entry into the Asia Pacific region. Mr. Maltz founded and was chairman of the first Starbucks Co. in China and Krispy Kreme in Australia/New Zealand. Additionally, Mr. Maltz was involved in the first Kinko's operation in China.

KIACON, which specializes in international retail expansion, will be Cold Stone Creamery's partner for Japan and will oversee and manage store operations.

Takashi Sawada, KIACON president and c.e.o., and newly appointed Cold Stone Creamery Japan chairman and c.e.o., said, "We look forward to the successful launch of our first store and we are confident that we will experience continued success as we further expand 'The Ultimate Ice Cream Experience' throughout Japan."

KIACON is a private equity investment company specializing in the growth and turnaround of the retail and distribution industry in Japan.

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