Godiva New York City store a launchpad for global plan

Belgian chocolatier Godiva has opened its first American cafe as it embarks on a global expansion strategy.

The Godiva New York City store not only presents the newest store look, it serves as a launching pad for the brand to expand into new product categories, part of the brand’s larger global strategy in achieving a fivefold growth plan in the next six years. By the end of the year, 10 more cafes are slated to open in New York State, and the plan is to launch more than 400 locations in the Americas.

“This is a very pivotal time for Godiva as we transition to align with the ever-changing consumer behavior,” said Godiva Chocolatier CEO Annie Young-Scrivner. “We have an aggressive growth plan for the next six years, which includes expanding our footprint of 2000 cafes worldwide with a focus on growth in the Americas.”

Godiva’s cafes have seen international success, with locations currently open in Japan, China, Belgium and the Middle East. In February, the company sold its retail and distribution operations in four markets – Japan, South Korea, Australia and the future rights to develop New Zealand – to private equity company MBK.

The overall concept has shifted with the Godvia New York City location, featuring a refreshed design and a wide array of new menu items that will shape and be replicated in the course of expansion over the next few years.

“Godiva’s plan to open more cafes is a smart move from a customer loyalty perspective,” said Clarus Commerce CEO Tom Caporaso, a loyalty program expert with 20 years of experience, in an email to Inside Retail. “One of the greatest assets that brick and mortar brands like Godiva have is their physical real estate, and adding a refreshed component to the in-store experience will create renewed excitement for both long-standing and new customers.

“The chocolatier has already established itself as a premier brand for special occasions, but these eateries now also allow it to be a staple in its customers’ everyday lives. This will help create a deeper, more meaningful connection to the brand, and build consumer loyalty over time.”

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