Pace splits Dean & DeLuca to stop losses

Pace splits Dean & DeLuca to stop losses

SET-listed Pace Development Corporation Plc, the Bangkok-based owner of Dean & DeLuca, plans to revamp the ailing gourmet grocer business by splitting operations in Asia and the US for business restructuring.

The US chain of Dean & DeLuca is undergoing a “rightsize” strategy through cost control and merging of chain operations to minimise losses from unprofitable branches, said Pace chief executive Sorapoj Techakraisri.

The strategy aims to stop losses for the US chain by the end of this year, said Mr Sorapoj.

The luxury food and grocery chain confirmed recently it is closing three of its nine stores in the US as the company is saddled with debt problems for some of its suppliers, the New York Times reported.

In 2014, Pace purchased the global business and assets of Dean & DeLuca for US$140 million (around 4.3 billion baht). Funding for such acquisition came from the company’s internal cashflow and loans from Siam Commercial Bank.

Dean & DeLuca was founded in New York in 1977 by Joel Dean and Giorgio DeLuca and currently operates in 12 countries, with 77 stores worldwide as of July 2019. Pace owns five stores in the US and 11 stores in Thailand.

For Asia, Pace plans to continue expanding Dean & DeLuca branches through a franchise strategy, he said.

There are 11 Dean & DeLuca branches in Thailand, with another five slated to launch later this year. Of the five new branches, two will be located in Phuket and three in Bangkok.

Pace also plans to expand the gourmet grocer branches into five potential Asian markets — Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia and Taiwan — over the next two years, said Mr Sorapoj.

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