This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of candy, nuts, popcorn, and other confections.
Confectionery and Nut Stores
According to the U.S. Census Bureau there were more than 3,000 of these kinds of stores in the early 2000s, with more than one-third employing nine or fewer people. Whether they were individual stores serving a local community or chains and franchises spread across larger areas, candy, nut, and confectionery stores faced stiff competition from convenience stores and other establishments that include retail sale of candy, nuts, popcorn, and other confections. In addition, firms like Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. added confectionary sections in 2006.
Challenges and opportunities in this industry are reflected in the performances of such well-known firms as Fannie May and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Fannie May filed for bankruptcy early in 2004 after struggling with falling sales, rising costs, and competition. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, on the other hand, was included in Fortune magazine's annual list of "America's 100 Fastest-Growing Small Public Companies." in 2006.
Fannie May Confections Inc. was founded in Chicago in 1920 and included the Fannie May and Fanny Farmer brands. Before being purchased in spring of 2004 by Alpine Confections of Alpine, Utah, Fannie May Confections Inc. closed its Chicago manufacturing plant and all 228 Fannie Farmer stores, including 112 in the Chicago area. A total of 47 stores were reopened in the Chicago area by Alpine Confections, followed by others across the country. Alpine Confections operates under KDM Holdings, which also owns Kencraft Candy and Maxfield Candy, as well as Canada-based Dynamic Chocolates.
Founded in 1981 in Durango, Colorado, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory manufactures confections and, in 2006, operated nearly 300 franchises or stores in the United States, Guam, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. Rocky Mountain also operates Lucy's Chocolate Factory, which manufactures chocolates for drug store and grocery channels. Fortune magazine's annual list of "America's 100 Fastest-Growing Small Public Companies," on which Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory placed 46th in 2006, ranks firms based on growth in earnings and revenue and is compiled from publicly traded companies with revenues of less than $200 million and a stock price of more than $1.