Domino's mandates store remodels by 2017

Domino's held its investor day Wednesday, providing an overview of its branding, technology and international initiatives. CEO Patrick Doyle opened the event by touting the brand's "unique" positioning, compared to 2008, when its message was "uninspired."

"We have a unique position — the way we present ourselves, our brand, the honesty and openness we have with our customers, the way we approach and communicate with the consumer," he said.

Still, he added, there is a long way to go. Doyle compared the pizza segment to the QSR burger segment as an example of Domino's opportunity.

"There is still a lot of share out there. The major chains in the QSR hamburger space is all about the major chains, with over 90 percent going to the large players. In Mexican, it's north of 80 percent and in sandwiches, it's north of 70 percent," he said.

By comparison, Domino's has about 23 percent of delivery share and 31 percent of digital dollars in the pizza segment.

'Biggest opportunity area'

As part of its effort to gain more market share in the pizza space, Domino's will focus heavily on its new store design that includes seating, flatscreen TVs, grab and go items and a pizza theater.

The current store image across most of the system, Doyle said, is 17 years old.

"We're not where we need to be to maintain the momentum we've got in the business," he said. "That's why the new store rollout has been mandated worldwide. All U.S. and international stores will be moving to the new image and we're going to do it over the next four years."

The mandate, therefore, will be done by the end of 2017. The reimage costs are estimated to be about $40,000 to $55,000 per store. Some stores will be relocated as part of the process, and new stores will cost about $250,000 to $350,000, the company estimates. For new stores and certain locations, there will be incentives.

"If we get this right, if we get this done, this is one more thing we think is going to continue to really drive the momentum of this brand," Doyle said.

Marketing pitches in

The marketing team at Domino's was asked to help with the remodel specifics so there wouldn't be a disconnect with branding efforts, CMO Russell Weiner said during the event.

"We're trying to be a transparent company. This puts the consumer first. They can watch the pizzas being made, and our fresh dough being stretched and flipped in front of them," Weiner said.

The pizza theater component was researched through surveys, employee interviews, dine-alongs, tracking and eye-tracking. To complement the new store design, Domino's has also updated its employee uniforms and its car topper logo.

"We think in five years our logo will be counted among the iconic logos," Weiner said. "In the future, what you can expect from Domino's is the same thing. Brand first, innovation and best-in-class consumer research and analytics."

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