A recent Wall Street Journal article examines the problems faced by Cold Stone Creamery, the ice-cream chain that was one of the hottest expanding concepts a few years back.The article says that 100 stores closed last year and that “one list on a Cold Stone Web site recently had 303 stores for sale — more than 20% of the company’s 1,384 as of December.” Among the problems that the chain is apparently facing are a high-priced, $4 scoop in a challenging economy, over expansion and tough margins that have put the squeeze on franchise owners.We seem to remember similar problems taking place with other higher-end ice cream concepts like Ben & Jerry’s. Cold Stone did expand awfully fast, and at least in certain parts of the country, we would think that demand for ice cream from November through well into March is pretty low.But is Cold Stone and its segment of food retailing alone? Starbucks has cut back its domestic expansion plans. Can you think of any other food-related chains from which we will hear similar news?

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