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Sun 5 Jun 2011 11:13 AM

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Magnolia Bakery eyes cupcake stores in Qatar, Kuwait

New York-based bakery plans stores in 80 countries within seven years

Magnolia Bakery eyes cupcake stores in Qatar, Kuwait
Magnolia Bakery opened its first overseas outlet in Bloomingdales Dubai last year

Magnolia Bakery, the New York cupcake maker made famous by
the television series Sex and the City, plans to open stores in Qatar and Kuwait
in the next 18 months, its owner said.

The store, which opened its first overseas outlet in
Bloomingdales Dubai last year, is undertaking a global expansion, to include
outlets in Brazil, Portugal, Turkey and Mexico.

“We consider ourselves to be a high-end luxury brand,”
Steven Abrams said in an interview with the Financial Times.

“In the rest of the world, cupcakes don’t have the cultural
longevity and history, but maybe in some of those cultures they will become a
staple. The market is ripe for us.”

The company had about $20m in revenues last year and sales
have been growing by 20 percent year on year, Abrams told the paper.

He hopes to have stores in 80 countries within the next
seven years.

Cupcakes have seen a revival in recent years, with a string
of independently-run bakery chains opening up across the Gulf. In the US, the
largest market for the iced treats, sales are forecast to grow 20 percent over the
next five years, according to research firm Mintel.

US cupcake maker Crumbs Holding was last month acquired by 57th
Street General Acquisition Corp for an undisclosed sum. The company saw revenue
increase to $31.1m in 2010, up from $23.5m in 2009.

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