Luxury chocolatier Hotel Chocolat has signed a development agreement with the Nordic franchise operator Retail Brands, covering Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Hotel Chocolat will continue supplying products to the franchisee on a wholesale basis and will receive royalties on sales made in the three stores. It also has the right to buy them back after five years.
Retail Brands is an operator of international retail franchises in the Nordic region, with strong local knowledge of the Scandinavian market, making it “ideally placed” to further grow operations in the area.
“Having proven the popularity of the Hotel Chocolat brand with Danish consumers, we are excited to be entering our next phase of Scandinavia-wide growth,” said Angus Thirlwell, Hotel Chocolat CEO and co-founder.
“By combining the strengths of our products and brand with the operational skills of an in-country partner, our goal is to deliver sustainable growth in Denmark and the wider Nordic region.”
Hotel Chocolat’s shares climbed 5.3% to reach 347.5p on 27 July after the announcement was made. The company’s share price has been slipping since it repaid its £6.4m 'chocolate bonds' to customers early. These ‘chocolate bonds’ offered investors a 7.3% return on their loan to the chocolatier in return for boxes of its chocolates and gift cards.