LaMar’s Bucks Downturn With 11.4% Increase in Donut, Coffee Sales -Gourmet donut consumption fuels double-digit growth for fourth year in a row, while almost two-thirds of fast-food restaurants report sales drops.

LaMar’s Bucks Downturn With 11.4% Increase in Sales

Gourmet donut consumption fuels double-digit growth for fourth year in a row, while almost two-thirds of fast-food restaurants report sales drops

DENVER, January 14, 2009 – Despite a souring economy that’s battering the automobile, real estate and restaurant industries, LaMar’s Donuts reported a fourth consecutive year of double-digit sales growth today.

For the company’s fiscal year ending December 31, 2008, LaMar’s average unit-volume comparable sales rose 11.4 percent, said CEO Anthony Bonelli.

In contrast, the Los Angeles Times reported in November that, according to research by the National Restaurant Association, nearly two out of three quick-service restaurant operators reported negative same-store sales and traffic levels in September. In addition, 50 percent expected their sales in six months to be lower than the same period last year.

“We’re more than a little pleased to see the demand for gourmet donuts and coffee withstand the economic storm so far,” Bonelli said. “Restaurant chains from Starbucks to KrispyKreme to Caribou Coffee are experiencing significant sales decreases and even closings.”

At the same time, the costs of flour, fuel and other commodities exploded in 2008, Bonelli added, “Yet we’re holding strong as more people than ever before in the company’s history are becoming LaMar’s customers.”

Bonelli attributed the growth to several factors: an increased focus on raising brand awareness, expansion into additional satellite locations, new point-of-purchase displays inside LaMar’s locations, and a revamped gourmet coffee program that has doubled sales of the beverage in a number of stores.

LaMar’s has reported a growth in average unit volume comparable sales annually since 2004 by an amount ranging from 10 to 15 percent. As a privately held company, the franchisor does not publish financial reports but usually releases a financial snapshot each year to the public.

About Lamar’s Donuts

Founded in 1960 by Ray Lamar in Kansas City, the first LaMar’s Donuts grew to national fame in part due to the long lines of customers that formed every morning at its door, as well as TV appearances by Ray Lamar and his gourmet donuts on NBC’s The Tonight Show and on The Food Network, among other productions. Since franchises became available in the 1990s, LaMar’s Donuts has grown to 30 locations in six states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. LaMar’s Donuts have been recommended by Zagat’s Survey, the New Yorker and Gourmet Magazine, and were chosen in the summer of 2008 as one of America’s five best donuts by AOL Cityguide. More information is at