Oi! Bagel plots high street assault

Bagel chain Oi! Bagel is preparing to roll out across the UK and open more than 20 new stores.

The chain, set up by managing director Steve King in December 1998, is set to open its third store in London next week.

The three-year expansion plan will see a further 22 outlets open in major towns and cities across the UK. The company will be taking on other players in the bagel market, which includes Bagelmania.

A spokeswoman for Oi! Bagel could not say whether the chain has any plans for a marketing programme in 2001.

Stores sell bagels with a range of fillings which are made to order on the premises. King says each store has sales of up to &£1m a year. The shops also sell soup, coffee, smoothies and fruit juice. Future outlets will provide seating for up to 50 customers.

Oi! Bagel is planning an AIM listing some time next year. King adds: “I always knew there was a market for bagels, but the response so far has been overwhelming.”

The company is also considering opening up the chain to franchisees once the current expansion plans are completed.

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