Gourmet grocery store Dean & DeLuca is battling landlords and suppliers as it cuts back on its ambitious expansion plans.
New York-based Elenis bakery, which has been a Dean & DeLuca supplier for 15 years, stopped shipping cookies to the store in December and claims it’s owed $86,000, the New York Post reported. And Manhattan’s Ceci-Cela Patisserie alleges it’s owed more than $70,000.
“They said they would pay me 50 cents on the dollar so we sued,” Ceci-Cela founder Laurent Dupal told the newspaper. “If we wait too long, we don’t know what’s going to happen with the company.”
Meanwhile, in Charlotte, North Carolina, a landlord kicked the high-end store out for failing to pay rent totaling $96,000. Dean & DeLuca was also forced to settle with a landlord in London after plans for a store fell through.
In Manhattan, the grocery store pulled out of three leases last year, including one near Grand Central Terminal.
Company president Laura Lendrum, who came on board last summer following a short run at Ralph Lauren, said Dean & DeLuca is “renewing our focus on our New York City and Napa Valley flagship stores as well as our e-commerce business.”
Thai real estate mogul Sorapoj Techakraisri’s Pace Development Corp. bought the chain in 2014 for $140 million and had looked toward an initial public offering this year with 100 stores in the U.S. and almost 100 more spread across 15 foreign countries. [NYP] – Rich Bockmann