Krispy Kreme ( KKD)

Hey, remember back in the late '90s and early 2000s when Krispy Kreme was in markets such as New York City and Boston and overexpanded so much it nearly collapsed?

So does Krispy Kreme, which is performing so well right now against big chains including Dunkin' Donuts ( DNKN) and Starbucks ( SBUX) that it's being talked about as a potential takeover target and doesn't want to jinx it. It's why even novelty offerings such as its heart-shaped Valentine's Day doughnuts are being promoted with growth in mind.

Folks who come into Krispy Kreme and buy a dozen doughnuts between now and Valentine's Day will get a bouquet of a dozen gift-card "Valentines" that can each be redeemed for a free doughnut. Call it a gimmick if you must, but it not only gets Valentine's-minded customers through the door but keeps them and their significant others coming back for more. Consider it the deep-fried version of Cupid's arrow.

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