The time is ripe for franchise expansion. Here's what two major franchisors have in store for the coming year and beyond:
- Consumer electronics retailer RadioShack, a division of Tandy Corp., unveiled its RadioShack Select program in January in an effort to expand its distribution network by establishing co-branded locations over the next five years. The Ft. Worth, Texas, company expects to add 1,000 new dealerships to its current tally of 6,800.
RadioShack Select is targeting nearly 2,000 towns across the nation the company considers too small to support a full-scale store, explains Leonard Clegg, vice president of the dealer franchise division. Approximately 75 new dealerships are already operational.
So what makes a perfect candidate? "We're looking for the most successful retailers in these towns who have already established businesses and are looking to expand," Clegg says.
- San Diego-based Mail Boxes Etc. is also looking for growth by way of area buybacks. For the past few years, the postal and business services franchisor has looked into purchasing those area franchises across the nation that meet one of the following criteria: They do not meet the necessary performance standards; they have matured so well, they now look like a prolific investment for the corporation; or the franchisee wants to sell.
Some 22 area franchises had been repurchased as of March; more are expected this year. Says Mail Boxes CFO Gary Grahn, "We're the best buyer an area franchisee has."