Cold Stone on the Decline

18 06 2008

I wasn’t too surprised when I saw this artcile on MSN tonight.

Earlier in this decade, Cold Stone Creamery was one of the hottest franchises around. The super-premium ice-cream stores attracted scores of franchisees hungry for a piece of the “Ultimate Ice Cream Experience.”

Now many franchisees are selling their stores, overwhelmed by soaring bills and shrinking profits. Some have lost their homes, broken their retirement nest eggs or filed for bankruptcy.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Cold Stone Cremery, but it is waaaaaaayyyyyyy overpriced.  My brother had his first Cold Stone while on vacation in Puerto Rico.  When he got home, he raved about it and we all thought it was just a Puerto Rican thing.  Then, the opened one in Peoria, IL and I had to try it out.  They say they’re “premium” ice cream, but I couldn’t taste any difference between them and Baskin Robbins.  I took my girlfriend there a few times after dinner, but never really went on my own.  A few co-workers would only go to Cold Stone not carrying what the price was.  I was much happier going to Culver’s and getting frozen custard, and more of it, for half the price. 

So, what went wrong?

The cost of running one of the shops was so steep that making a profit was daunting, especially in an economy where a $4 scoop was a pricey indulgence, they argue. They also contend the company cut their margins even further by offering two-for-one coupons and making them buy costly ingredients from a single supplier.

Boy, a bad business model for a chain?  I don’t believe it.  If you want really good ice cream at a decent price, go to the MSU Dairy Store (review HERE).  It’s better than Cold Stone.




One response

19 06 2008

Agreed! Coming from PA I was accustomed to eating full-fat ice cream fresh from a small dairy on a backroad to nowhere. Cold-Stone Creamery can’t carry MSU’s Dairy Store jock-strap…metaphorically speaking of course.

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