Brisbane-headquartered Dominos Pizza Enterprises (ASX: DMP) is on a roll in Japan where a new store has opened at least every three days on average over the past 12 months, taking the country's total to 800 outlets as of yesterday.
A crusted-in digitalisation of the Domino's ordering and delivery model has served up a winning combination over the past 18 months as customers worldwide satiated their at-home pandemic pangs for pizza.
In the December half alone global profits rose by 32.8 per cent to $96.2 million, with the announcement in February pushing DMP shares above the $100 mark for the first time.
Since then the company has also announced a $79 million acquisition of 157 Domino's stores in Taiwan which were previously owned by Formosa International Hotels Corporation subsidiary PizzaVest Company.
It is against this backdrop that the group revealed just how quickly it was growing elsewhere in East Asia, with 126 stores opened in the space of a year in Japan.
Yesterday Domino's opened 10 stores in Japan, marking more than 100 stores launched so far this calendar year - a milestone never before achieved in any other market for Domino's.
Group CEO and managing director Don Meij expects the momentum to continue.
"This marks an extraordinary achievement for Japan and is the result of a world-leading team effort from franchisees and team members alike," he says.
"Japan finished the 2019 Financial Year with 600 stores, celebrated the 35th anniversary for the market in 2020 with the 700th store and now, less than 12 months later, has reached another milestone."
Domino's Pizza Japan president and CEO Josh Kilimnik has even more ambitious plans ahead.
"We are focused on reaching the 1500 store milestone by 2030-2032, with a new approach that allows us to make dough in stores (like in Australia/New Zealand) that opens up previously inaccessible cities and towns," Kilimnik says.
"Our franchisees have beaten all expectations - we expect franchisees will operate 50% of all stores in Japan this calendar year while our store managers have been recognised as the best in the Domino's world," he says.
"Every member of the Domino's Japan family should be proud of their efforts - this milestone is only possible because we have fundamentally changed how we have served our customers, from our menu offering and pricing through to our operations, which are consistently, safely delivering the fastest pizzas on the planet."
The 800th store in Japan is officially the Tawaramachi store in Tokyo. Each of the 10 stores opened yesterday will be considered 'memorial' stores, recognising this important achievement.
"While we are the dominant pizza company in Japan, and the largest Domino's Pizza Enterprises Ltd market by store count, no-one in our team is resting on this achievement, we intend to continue to grow by putting our customers first in everything we do," Kilimnik says.
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