News in brief
Opening of First Hotel Chocolat store in Japan exceeds expectations
The new store in Tokyo’s Aeon Lake Town shopping mall, which is the largest in the country, follows the announcement earlier his year from Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive of Hotel Chocolat, that the company planned to extend its presence in the Far East.
"The reaction to Hotel Chocolat in Japan on our first day of trading last week was hugely encouraging. Customer engagement, media attention and sales performance were all well ahead of expectation," said Thirlwell. ”Our portfolio of products landed with aplomb. Hot chocolat drinks, our 8g sculpted chocolate batons, and our Selector range were all in high demand. We look forward to unfolding the brand further here."
In September, the group posted a pre-tax profit of $16.6m in the first quarter of 2018, which Thirlwell said is attributed to its store expansion programme.
As well as the Asia-Pacific region, the brand's first store opened in Hong Kong three years ago, the company recently opened 15 new stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland with plans to move into Scandinavia.