Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is gearing up to open a new 4,500-square-foot flagship location in Times Square next month.

"It is the coolest doughnut shop you'll ever be in," Mike Tattersfield, president and CEO of Krispy Kreme, told Cheddar from inside the neon-lit construction site. 

The shop will have the capacity to produce 380 dozens per hour and feature the "biggest hot light in the world in our system," which famously signals to customers when a fresh batch is ready. 

But the new flagship store is just the most visible example of the iconic doughnut brand's aggressive expansion amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Krispy Kreme plans to open 450 new stores by the end of 2022, including 20 shops in the U.S. and 60 globally before the end of the year. 

Tattersfield said the chain has maintained double-digit growth during the pandemic through a combination of consumer outreach, product innovation, and a pivot to delivery.  

"Even though our front doors were shut at times, we still had a lot of drive-throughs," he said. "We learned a lot and actually did a lot of community events and activities."

The company happened to launch its delivery business on February 29 — mere weeks before coronavirus forced food businesses to adopt a new reality of pick-up and delivery only. 

"Our timing was very fortuitous," said Tattersfield, who added that deliveries now make up upwards of 10 percent of sales. 

In addition, the company in April built a new plant in Iowa and partnered with WalMart to release a line of shelf products. The "Heritage" line, which launched three weeks ago, supports Krispy Kreme's move into what Tattersfield calls an "omnichannel" approach. 

Now Tattersfield says the challenge is keeping up with demand. "What Walmart did — because there's only 400 Krispy Kremes in the United States — was actually give us access to all of America."

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