Monday, December 04, 2006

Local donut shop closes

The former native Chinese speaker and I drove by our nearest Waili's Donuts (on the corner of Chaoma and Liming Roads) this evening, only to find it closed down and the building for rent.

Hey, you saw the prediction first here--Clyde Warden, pastry prognisticator, predictor of Taiwan donuts futures wrote,
I tend to be with the sceptics on the future of any doughnut chain in Taiwan. Foods that are not core to chinese consumption tend to be very fadish, and doughnuts are a great example. Doughnuts are not at all new to Taiwan, and they are generally of medium popularity, but the market for the raised dough, which is very chewy, is not so large. Also, with so many breakfast shops/stands, is there a need for a breakfast chain? Can people take the time to sit down and eat in the morning (which is one of the big success markets for Mister donut in Japan. Lastly, local bread stores are so numerous and very competitive, soon people will feel there is nothing special, and the idea of paying a 60K NT$ rent a month and only selling doughnuts will be like the Scotch Tape store in Saturday Night Live (too narrow a product line).
(Who says we don't track the important trends here?)


Anonymous said...

Thanks Jonathan, but like most market pontificators, I am a fake! Wali's has not closed, but moved. They are over in the Feng Chia area now--Even took their signs with them (Fu Hsing RD, West end toward the airforce base and FCU dorms). The shop is way scaled down, so it is only take-out now. Their location is not great, but out on the peripheral area, which is not very renao on a daily basis. Rent in that area is over 100K a month in the core, and most likely 80K for the peripheral areas. They will have to sell a lot of donuts to make that back, and since they were never very busy in their old location, I now predict . . . Oh, forget it!

Anonymous said...

Waili is just a rip-off of Mister Donut. The logo and colors are very similar, and the donuts are the same too. I've read that Mister Donut is looking into suing Waili, so if Waili does disappear it could be because of legal reasons. Then Mister Donut could finally move into the Taichung market.

Anonymous said...

Taiwan trademark laws are not so strict as to really threaten Walli's. The best example is KFC and KLG. Is that one still going on?

That battle has gone on for a while. From what I understand, both Waili and Mister Donut are from Japan, so this issue must exist there also. Waili's does have another store between the Taichung police HQ and the National hotel (can't remember what road it is on though). Went past there on my bike one morning, and even though there is a big school right near them, they don't open in the morning at all. The logic of these imported businesses just makes my head spin.

Jonathan Benda said...

I haven't seen a Mister Donut in so long, I didn't realize there was any similarity between the two chains.

Thanks for the heads-up about Waili's new location, Clyde. I think it makes sense for them to scale down their store--maybe something like the tea stands that are all over the place would make the most sense. But if they're paying 80K for rent, they won't be around for long. (My prediction.)

As far as I know, KLG is still around, though I haven't worked up the nerve to venture into Tunghai Villa to check...

Anonymous said...

Waili is not a Japanese company, it's from Taichung. Mister Donut was originally an American chain, but now is under Japanese ownership, at least in Japan. There aren't any Mister Donut's south of Hsinchu. Found a link to a Taipei Times article from last year:
Check out the last paragraph (from the president of Mister Donut Taiwan):
"We've seen `Waili Donuts' in Taichung and `Mr. Don Donut' in Banchiao, Taipei County, that people think are part of our company. We'll pursue legal action at the appropriate time to protect our trademark," Kitami said.