Next month, after announcing a flagship Krispy Kreme store coming to New York City last year, the JAB Holding company is finally opening its doughnut shop in Times Square. After a three-month delay because of the pandemic, the 24-hour, 4,500-square foot Krispy Kreme — part “doughnut theater,” part doughnut factory, and part merchandise shop — will “serve more Krispy Kreme customers” than any of their 1,400 shops worldwide starting Sept. 15.
Containing the world’s largest hot light, the nation’s tallest glaze waterfall that tops a moving conveyor belt full of Krispy Kreme’s original glazed doughnuts with glaze all day every day, stadium seating that looks like a box of doughnuts, and a 24-hour pickup window, the Krispy Kreme flagship fits in well with other larger-than-life retail stores in Times Square, including the Hershey Store and M&M’s World.
But opening any store during a pandemic — particularly an elaborate, experience-based retail location in one of the most heavily trafficked places in the world — is not without its challenges. The grab-and-go counter at the Times Square Krispy Kreme was specifically designed with a contact-minimum experience in mind, and the store is filled with social distancing signs and reminders to wear a mask.
A Krispy Kreme representative said that guests can reserve a time to visit the store online to avoid crowded times and they also offer remote queuing so that lines to pick up doughnuts don’t become unmanageable crowds. Staff are also regularly health screened and there are protective barriers between staff and guests to ensure a safer, COVID-era-friendly experience.
The opening of the flagship is part of Krispy Kreme’s New York City expansion; by the end of the year, Krispy Kreme will be opening eight more locations throughout New York City.
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