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Frozen yogurt chain Red Mango is closing locations nearly as quickly as it opened them, recently scratching two relatively new stores in downtown Seattle.

"Unfortunately,

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Seattle Freezes Out Growing Fro-Yo Chain

redmangocup.jpg
Frozen yogurt chain Red Mango is closing locations nearly as quickly as it opened them, recently scratching two relatively new stores in downtown Seattle.

"Unfortunately, two of our Seattle locations didn't perform as we had hoped and we made the difficult decision to close them at the end of November," says Sharyn Frankel of DT Marketing, which handles communications for the chain.

Red Mango embarked on its Seattle expansion in June 2011, doubling its citywide presence. Although the stores at 1418 First Ave. and 405 Union St. didn't survive sluggish customer traffic, Frankel says there are no plans to close the Pacific Place counter or University Village store, which is currently listed for sale online. According to BizBuySell.com, the store generates $406,000 in annual gross income; The asking price is $170,000.

Since 2011, Red Mango has opened 70 new stores, celebrating its 200th location last October in Houston. But the tally dipped in November and December with a rash of closures in Arizona, Florida and North Carolina.

"Just didn't make it. Costs too high and not enough customers," the owner of the two failed North Carolina shops tersely told a Cornelius News reporter.

The Dallas-based Red Mango was a leader of frozen yogurt's second wave, which emphasized self-service and appealed to franchisees with low start-up costs. "It can cost less than $10,000 to open a frozen yogurt shop, and with so many vacant storefronts, landlords are eager for the business," reported a 2010 Marketplace segment which identified Red Mango as one of the nation's fastest-growing fro-yo chains.

Frankel didn't have any information about future local development, but the chain in 2009 announced plans to open 550 stores within five years. In addition to its Seattle stores, Red Mango operates locations in Bellevue, Lynnwood and Tukwila. A Redmond store is under renovation.

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