* Dunkin' Donuts left California in 2002
* Competition in the state includes Starbucks, McDonald's
By Lisa Baertlein
LOS ANGELES, Jan 16 Dunkin' Donuts will open
shops in Southern California in 2015, the popular coffee chain
said on Wednesday, marking its long-awaited return to the state
it left more than a decade ago.
Dunkin' Donuts customers are fiercely loyal and have been
clamoring for it to re-enter California, which the company says
is the No. 1 state for grocery sales of the chain's bagged
The company expects to open 150 to 200 shops in Southern
California by 2020, said Nigel Travis, chief executive of
Dunkin' Brands Inc and president of Dunkin' Donuts for the
"We eventually plan to have more than 1,000 restaurants
throughout the state," Travis said on a conference call with
The chain has been expanding westward in states such as
Arizona, Nevada and Colorado.
Dunkin' Donuts, a unit of Dunkin' Brands Inc, said
it is recruiting franchisees for Los Angeles, Riverside, San
Diego, San Bernardino, Ventura and Orange counties.
Competitors in California will include national brands such
as McDonald's Corp, Starbucks Corp and smaller
chains such as Winchell's Donut House.
Dunkin' Donuts closed its final Golden State outpost in
Sacramento in August 2002, citing infrastructure and timing
This year Dunkin' Donuts plans to open 330 to 360 net new
units in the United States, an increase of 4.5 to 5 percent.
Shares in Dunkin' Brands were unchanged at $34.02 in morning
trading on the Nasdaq.