Wetzel’s Pretzels announced it has opened its first location in China, six months after signing a deal to enter the country. The location is the first of three Wetzel’s Pretzels which are slated to open this summer, and one of the fifty the brand has in the development pipeline for China.

Wetzel’s Pretzel’s first store in China is located at the Reel Mall in Shanghai, one of the largest shopping centers in the densely-populated city of more than 24 million people. Along with more than 100 retail stores, the Reel Mall is home to a movie theater and connected to a major transportation hub.

“Wetzel’s Pretzels offers a fresh-baked product, served fast. It’s a brand that will resonate well with consumers in Shanghai,” says Will Zhu, master franchisee for Wetzel’s Pretzels in China. “With our first location open and corporate training center built, we’re looking forward to getting other locations up and running, and expanding the brand.”

During the summer, Zhu will also open an additional two locations in Shanghai, at Pacific Fresh City and Metro City, two major shopping destinations in the region. With an experienced operator executing the brand in high-traffic areas across Shanghai, Wetzel’s Pretzel’s will continue to branch out across China, as it is on track to open 50 in the country by 2021.

“With a dense population and consumers seeking new and fresh products, Wetzel’s is well-positioned to come out of the gate strong with long-term success,” says Jennifer Schuler, Wetzel’s Pretzel’s President. “While we continue to expand domestically, we see China and our partnership with Will Zhu as a solid pillar for our international growth trajectory.”

The company’s first China location opened with its signature offerings such as made-from-scratch pretzels, Bitz, Wetzel Dogs and Fresh and Frozen Lemonade, and will introduce custom offerings seasonally to meet local flavor profiles and demand.

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