Your Franchise Could Be Here

Find Your Ideal Franchise

Complete our short franchise quiz to discover the franchise that’s right for you.
min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Your Franchise Could Be HereThose who've longed to run their own bagel or fitness franchise may get just the push they need from a real estate company eager to fill retail space.

Kimco Realty, which operates the biggest portfolio of neighborhood shopping centers in North America, is joining with franchise chains to treat one of the biggest symptoms of a weak economy: vacant storefronts.

The New Hyde Park, N.Y., REIT recently launched FastTrack Franchise, a program that helps entrepreneurs find and open a franchise business in shopping-center spaces that certain chains have pre-approved as store locations. Would-be franchisees might stumble across one of the storefronts on a trip to the neighborhood strip mall, or could go to Kimco's site and search by franchise or location.

"We've had more vacancies than in years past," said Brett Cooper, Kimco leasing associate for the northeast U.S. To ramp up leasing efforts in its small-shop space – stores under 5,000 square feet – the company has reached out to franchisors and asked them to pre-approve certain locations for their chains.

Kimco will hang a sign in the window and list the shopping center and franchise on the FastTrack site. "We think that there's a lot of entrepreneurs that would like to open up their own business [or] open their own franchise but don't know how," Cooper said.

Kimco put up the website on Jan. 1 and hung its first sign in mid-February, in the Central Islip Towne Center on Long Island, he said. While 18 franchisors are on board so far, the Central Islip space has been pre-approved by five, including Pearle Vision, Bruegger's bagel shop and the Hand & Stone spa. The REIT received two calls in the first week, Cooper said.

Other franchisors working with Kimco elsewhere include School of Rock, The UPS Store and Wild Birds Unlimited. The company is operating the program in 46 centers in nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states initially and hopes to eventually expand it throughout the portfolio.

Kimco isn't the only shopping center operator promoting franchise tenants this way. DDR Corp., which manages nearly 540 shopping centers, this month announced FranchiseConnect, a web platform that also connects entrepreneurs, pre-qualified shopping centers and franchisors.

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources
Make sure you’re covered if an employee gets injured at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business
Try a risk-free trial of Entrepreneur’s BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan for 60 days:
  • Get step-by-step guidance for writing your plan
  • Gain inspiration from 500+ sample plans
  • Utilize business and legal templates
  • And much more

Latest on Entrepreneur