How sweet it is! No more “hot doughnuts now” at Wal-Mart. Doughnut maker Krispy Kreme is klosing its shops inside Wal-Mart stores, in a klear failure of a market test. Krispy Kreme, which is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, announced this week that it is shutting down five of its bakery stores located inside Wal-Mart stores. The financially ailing donoughnut maker said stores inside Wal-Mart were just a “test” and admitted that “the concept is not viable.” Krispy Kreme still sells a lot of doughnuts to health unconscious Wal-Mart shoppers, but the sweets maker is calling its retail experiment over. As for Wal-Mart’s response, the company simply told the Associated Press that “the retailer doesn’t comment on relationships with tenants or suppliers.” KK Stores in Charlotte and Mount Airy, N.C., Virginia Beach, VA., Maysville, KY., and Garland, TX will close as of Sunday, while a store in Hutchinson, KS. will close in April. In the meantime, Wal-Mart basically two-timed Krispy, by signing an agreement another doughnut maker, Dunkin’ Donuts, which is now British owned. The “test” of using Wal-Mart lasted around a year and a half. One of the Krispy Kreme stores in a North Carolina Wal-Mart was making just over a million a year in sales, compared to $3.6 million at the typical free-standing Krispy Kreme store. The doughnut maker has at least 400 of its own stores besides the failed Wal-Mart units. The glaze has worn off the stock recently, as Krispy Kreme sales have fallen significantly.
It’s always edifying to know that some businesses cannot make a go of it inside a Wal-Mart. The giant retailer has its own list of experiments that never worked, such as Bud’s discount stores, which the company tried unsuccessfully to use to fill in the dark spaces left when Wal-Mart stores closed. The Buds stores were named after Sam Walton’s brother, and you never hear the company ever refer to its failed experiment. No doubt, you will never hear Wal-Mart talk again about those hot, Krispy Kreme dougnuts. All that’s left of this experiment is the dougnut hole, which you can look for at your local Wal-Mart store.