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International Expansion News--Auntie Anne's, McDonald's

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Gap, Pennsylvania--Soft pretzel franchisor Auntie Anne's Inc. has opened its two newest international locations, one in London and the other in Scarborough, Ontario. Long Pond Ventures LLC is developing the Canadian franchises and plans to open a minimum of 20 locations over the next five years. British franchisee Iron Sharp Ltd. is also looking to open 20 stores in the next five years. -Auntie Anne's Inc.

Tokyo--McDonald's Co. (Japan) Ltd. will significantly reduce store openings this year as a result of large-scale reorganizations occurring in the Japanese retail sector, a company spokesman said. The Tokyo-based unit of McDonald's Corp. plans to open 220 new shops in Japan this year, compared with 285 openings last year and about 400 to 500 openings in the prior few years. -Dow Jones

Oak Brook, Illinois--Fueled by Russia's love affair with its inexpensive cheeseburgers and crispy French fries, fast-food giant McDonald's says it plans to open 22 new restaurants across the country this year. Currently, the company, which opened its first Russian restaurant in 1990, operates 74 restaurants staffed by 9,000 employees in 23 cities across Russia. -Nation's Restaurant News

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