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Cookie Time opens first international Cookie Bar

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Cookie Time’s first international store officially opens today in Tokyo - the first step in an international retail strategy to rollout further Cookie Bars in Japan and neighbouring territories.

The first Cookie Muncher Cookie Bar is located in Harajuku, world famous as Japan’s centre of street fashion. The Cookie Bar opened with a soft launch in late December and has been trading with daily queues of people waiting to get instore.

The Harajuku Cookie Bar is a partnership between Cookie Time International Limited and Japan’s largest privately owned food distribution business IceCo, with IceCo holding the Japanese license for the Cookie Muncher Cookie Bar concept. Two more Japanese stores are planned in the next 12 months, and CTIL is also in discussions with potential partners in Thailand and Malaysia.

Lincoln Booth, CTIL director, says the response to the first store has been phenomenal.

"The Cookie Bar opened with a soft launch as we have been working hard over the last four weeks to complete the full store fit-out, complete staff training and deliver brand merchandise instore. Despite this work in progress, the response has been incredible with daily queues and strong sales," Booth says.

"Harajuku is an excellent location and the Cookie Bar’s got a great vibe. There’s something very special going with the Cookie Muncher character, pop art design and New Zealand heritage. We’re not pushing the New Zealand angle, but it certainly does add some extra flavour to the experience," Booth says.

"It’s very early days for the Harajuku store but the positive reception is certainly supporting our international retail aspirations and giving us confidence in pushing forward in this space," Booth says.

The Cookie Muncher Cookie Bar is designed as a mecca for cookie lovers with a focus on hot cookies and freshly prepared cookie products, along with ice cream and drinks. The store also unveils a new Cookie Bar brand, leveraging the much loved Cookie Time brand to create a premium retail offering. The retail brand puts Cookie Muncher front and centre with pop art style cookies and distinctive speech and thought bubbles. The brand evolution was done by CTIL’s internal design team, and the store design concept by Christchurch company Redesign. Cookie dough and key brand merchandise for Harajuku has been supplied from New Zealand.

The Harajuku Cookie Bar will be officially opened with a formal ceremony today, attended by CTIL directors Lincoln Booth and Michael Mayell along with key local dignitaries.

Cookie Time opened its first domestic Cookie Bar in Queenstown in 2010. Strong performance and double digit growth over the past 18 months has led to numerous approaches by international companies interesting in licensing opportunities. The Queenstown Cookie Bar will be refreshed with new retail branding over the next six months.

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