Anyone who’s driven by a Krispy Kreme location has noticed the iconic “Hot Now” neon sign that signals freshly fried dough. And next year, the North Carolina-based chain is putting the biggest one in the world right in the middle of New York City.
In early 2020, Krispy Kreme will open a new flagship shop in Times Square. The 4,500-square-foot location, which was announced today and will be open every hour of every day with donuts made nonstop, will include “interactive digital experiences,” according to the company, along with stadium-style seating and a clear view of the conveyor belts showing exactly how the southern-style donuts are made.
According to Krispy Kreme chief marketing officer Dave Skena, the goal is to “engage all the senses for New Yorkers and for everyone else visiting around the world—sight, sound, touch, taste, smell.”
“The line will never stop, the city never sleeps, and neither will we,” Skena told Adweek.
With 350 locations in the U.S. and 1,100 internationally, Krispy Kreme, which was founded in Winston-Salem in 1937, is more popular in the southeastern U.S. than in the northeast. The Times Square store will be just the second New York City location after Penn Station, making it still far less ubiquitous in Manhattan than its Massachusetts-based rival, Dunkin’.
Most tourists are familiar with the experiential-type stores big brands and startups have placed around the city in recent years in the form of pop-ups. However, in a part of town where all the lights compete with one another, the welcome smell of donuts might become somewhat of a secret weapon.
“The thing that comes to mind for me is we started our experience with experiential retail in 1937,” Skena said. “We’re glad everyone is catching up. When you show people your production, when they have all their senses activated and when you give away hats, you’re creating that retail theater. We’ve always done that and the Times Square location gives us a way to take everything up to 11.”