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Independent framing retailers are offered a safety net.

After 24 years operating as independent framing retailers, Chris and Nancy McKenna decided they needed more support behind them. Their experience with the retail market made the couple realize "the future of the independent [retailer] was going to be very shaky without a tie-in to a nationally recognized name and support system."

A conversion program from Franchise Concepts Inc. fit the bill for the McKennas. Independent framing retailers can convert their establishments into one of the companies' franchises, which include Deck The Walls, Great Frame Up, and Framing and Art Centre.

To aid in the conversion process, Franchise Concepts will waive the franchise fee for converts. In exchange for a 6 percent royalty fee, the franchisor offers greater buying power, employee benefits programs, training, and merchandising and promotional materials.

Steve Lowrey, CEO of the Houston company, knows independent retailers can benefit from being part of a larger entity, but realizes it takes a leap of faith. "We believe we can save them money so they're better off," he says, "but they need to be willing to give [franchising] a try."

Contact Sources

Franchise Concepts Inc., (281) 775-5200, bobk@franchiseconceptsinc.com

The Great Frame Up, 1012 E. Bidwell St., #200, Folsom, CA 95630, (916) 984-1818

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This article was originally published in the May 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Picture This.

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