- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
N/R Not ranked last year
- Initial investment
$323K - $588K
- Units as of 2022
109 12% over 3 years
Thomas Walla, Merlin Hayes, and Mary Hayes opened a small hobby store in 1969. Then, in 1980, they bought out HobbyTown, a competing store. They began franchising in 1986 and, since then, HobbyTown has grown into the largest brick-and-mortar hobby retailer in the industry, with over 100 franchise locations across the U.S.
HobbyTown franchises operate on four core values to deliver the best possible customer experience. Among these four values, franchisees and their employees are expected to lead and serve, cultivate growth, bring it every day, and most importantly, keep calm and hobby on.
Why You May Want toStart a HobbyTown Franchise
Executive members and leaders within the HobbyTown brand are vested shareholders in the company. That being said, they want franchisees to do well and will give you the tools to run a business. With corporate backing, a turn-key operating system, and close connections with other HobbyTown stores, you'll have ample support.
HobbyTown's training takes place both onsite at a mentoring store and through Hobby University at company headquarters. Their field team will continue your training for three weeks prior to your store's opening day. HobbyTown's service team takes over when pre-launch training ends. They will provide ongoing support with IT, accounting, sales, marketing, inventory management and purchasing, and financial analysis.
What Might Make a HobbyTown Franchise a Good Choice?
To open a HobbyTown store, you will need to be prepared to invest financially, which will include a franchise fee. Your total investment will depend on your store's size, build-out requirements, and starting inventory. On inventory, HobbyTown makes sure that you stock the best products for your local area. Using point-of-sale and online data, corporate experience, and vendor relationships, inventory is well-mixed and constantly changing to keep your store fresh and exciting for a wide range of customers.
HobbyTown offers a few ways to get the most out of your store, including the choice to become an official retailer of RadioShack Express merchandise. When your store is listed as a retailer on radioshack.com, you may experience additional sales and new customers. Sales go beyond the physical location, as well. Customers can order products from your online store. There may also be an opportunity to expand to a multi-unit franchise.
You may be wondering why opening a HobbyTown is a good idea with such a strong presence from online retailers like Amazon. Fortunately, HobbyTown has national brand awareness as a locally-owned store. The company uses this label to its advantage, offering competitive prices and reliable customer service.
How Do You Start a HobbyTown Franchise?
When looking to start a HobbyTown franchise,, it would be a good idea to scout different locations. Learn as much as you can about the brand and check your local community to match the market need.
Franchisees will attend a discovery day at HobbyTown's corporate headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska. Here, they will learn more about the opportunity and get ready to invest and sign documents. With continual company support, soon enough, you'll be helping customers do the things they love and maybe even finding new hobbies for yourself along the way.
|Franchising Since||1986 (37 years)|
|# of employees at HQ||45|
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is offering new franchisees in the following international regions: Australia/New Zealand, Canada
|# of Units||109 (as of 2022)|
Information for Franchisees
Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a HobbyTown franchise.
Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees
Here's what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.
Initial Franchise Fee
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
|$323,000 - $587,500|
Net Worth Requirement
Definition: The minimum net worth you must have in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company
What you need to know: Net worth is the value of a person's assets minus liabilities. Assets include cash, stocks, retirement accounts, and real estate. Liabilities include items like mortgages, car payments, and credit card debt.
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
|$100,000 - $200,000|
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with this company.
|$10,000 off franchise fee|
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
Ad Royalty Fee
Definition: An going fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis to support advertising or marketing efforts.
What you need to know: This may also be called advertising fee, marketing fee, brand fund fee, and more, but the basic purpose is the same-- to support promotion of the brand systemwide. As with the royalty fee, it is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD, and can be a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales or a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
Term of Agreement
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
|Is franchise term renewable?||Yes|
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
|In-House Financing||HobbyTown offers in-house financing to cover the following: franchise fee|
|Third Party Financing||HobbyTown has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: startup costs, equipment, inventory|
Training & Support Offered
Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.
|On-The-Job Training||131 hours|
|Classroom Training||32 hours|
Meetings & Conventions
Security & Safety Procedures
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Additional details about running this franchise.
|Is absentee ownership allowed?||Yes|
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
|# of employees required to run||4|
Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Interested in ownership opportunities like HobbyTown? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where HobbyTown landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where HobbyTown ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Are you eager to see what else is out there? Browse franchises that are similar to HobbyTown.
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