Retail Property - Auntie Anne's enters UK market with outlet in Victoria Station

Another US fast food operation is looking to break into the UK market with the arrival of Auntie Anne's, a hand-rolled soft pretzels specialist.

It has opened a pilot store on the concourse at London's Victoria Station, and has appointed agent Kitchen la Frenais Morgan to roll out a nationwide chain.

Auntie Anne's was set up in 1988, when Anne Beiler set up a stand in Farmer's Market in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, selling pretzels and lemonade.

Fifteen years on, the business is still privately owned, but operates more than 800 branches - mostly franchised - across 13 countries.

According to Auntie Anne's agent at KLM Andrew Reed, the company is looking to open in many UK shopping centres over the next couple of years.

At present, two more sites are under offer, including Pillar Property's Fulham Broadway development in West London. A further 10 sites are being evaluated, including Touchwood in Solihull, The Pallasades in Birmingham, the Trafford Centre in Manchester and Eldon Square in Newcastle. Reed said the emphasis is on high-footfall locations.

Danish Gourmet, the fast food retailer that trades as Odin's, has recently signed its first lease in the UK at the Peacocks Shopping Centre in Woking.

It specialises in traditional Danish gourmet sausages and flavoured mashed potato, and has agreed a new 10-year lease with a mutual break option at the end of year three and an initial rental of£18,000 a year.

Property consultant Gerald Eve is handling the nationwide requirement.

Head of retail Mark Hillier said: 'This letting marks the start of Danish Gourmet's push for units within food courts of shopping centres, at travel points, theme parks and tourist locations. This new concept will sit well in any environment where hot food is sold to a fast-moving footfall.'

Dalgleish acted on behalf of the landlord, British Land.