The American doughnut chain opened its first French store in Paris this week, resulting in people queuing all-night to be the first through the door.
Krispy Kreme’s American style glazed doughnuts, which were already available in over 1,000 stores in 38 countries, can now be purchased in France at Les Halles, Paris.
For months, the chain has prepared the ground for its venture into France by handing out thousands of free doughnuts and running viral marketing campaigns.
Indeed in the run-up to the grand opening on Wednesday, it promised one year’s free doughnuts to the first 10 customers through the door of its Paris store. The next 90 customers would get a free box of doughnuts each month for a year.
When the store finally opened at 08:00 on Wednesday (December 6), 300 people were waiting outside, many of whom had been there for hours, with some camping on the street all night.
The first through the door, and winner of a year’s supply of doughnuts, was 19-year-old French student Lada, who had camped in front of the store since 19:00.
“I discovered Krispy Kreme in Scotland, I’m a real doughnut fan,” she told Le Parisien.
“When I heard they were opening a store in Paris, I knew I just couldn’t miss out. It was easily worth a sleepless night in the cold!”
Less fortunate was Clément, a 28-year-old civil servant.
“I was 11th - the worst position!” he said as he ate his ninth doughnut of the day.
“The authentic taste is amazing, it’s soft and light, and even better when they’re warm. I could easily eat a box of 12 by myself.”
While the company’s viral marketing campaign has been a success, it has also upset local officials.
Krispy Kreme had daubed its marketing posters around the streets of Paris, leading to deputy mayor Emmanuel Grégoire calling the campaign “illegal, polluting and costly for the city.”
Il y en a marre de l'affichage sauvage. C'est une pratique marketing d'un autre temps.— Emmanuel Grégoire (@egregoire) November 29, 2023
Elle est illégale, polluante et coûteuse pour la collectivité.
Les services de @Paris interviendront pour mettre fin à cette pub qui salit les rues.@AntoineGuillou @nicolas_nordman https://t.co/5hgn2oSiFV
Krispy Kreme France Manager Alexandre Maizoué told Le Parisien that the company was “taken aback” by the criticism and would gladly pay any fines.
“We only put them up where there were already posters,” he said. “Of course we will pay any fines if we have to.”