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How to Start a Buddy's Home Furnishings Franchise in 2023 This franchise opportunity is perfect for those who love home furnishing, furniture, and appliances.

By Entrepreneur Staff

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Buddy's Home Furnishings

Buddy's Home Furnishings Franchise Information

Buddy's Home Furnishings is a leading franchise brand, providing rent-to-own furniture, appliances and electronics to consumers at an affordable price. The company was founded in 1961 by Norman Slatton, who decided to use his experience in sales at Sears, Roebuck and Co. to pioneer the rent-to-own business with a single aim: to make appliances in a retail setting more affordable. Michael Bennett is the current CEO and President, Teresa Hill serves as Vice-President of Operational Support, and Michael Zagar and Mitchell Lee are the Directors of Franchise Operations and Development, respectively.

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How much does a Buddy's Home Furnishings franchise cost?

Many consider Buddy's to be a franchise opportunity with a low initial investment. To start a Buddy's Home Furnishings franchise of your own, here are the following financial requirements and ongoing fees associated with business ownership:

Initial franchise fee: $40,000

Initial investment: $349,570 - $839,690

Net worth required: $500,000

Cash requirement: $150,000

Veteran incentives: 20% off franchise fee

Royalty fee: 6%

Ad Royalty fee: 2%

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How Buddy's Home Furnishings acquired and conquered its way to huge growth.

In 1961, Buddy's Bi-Rite was founded in Tampa, Fla., and grey into a chain of 43 furniture and appliance stores throughout Georgia and Florida over the next 25 years. Since then, the company adopted the name Buddy's Home Furnishings and the franchising model as it grew its footprint to nearly 300 stores throughout the U.S. and Guam.

In 2019, the brand was acquired by Franchise Group Inc. for $120 million. Franchise Group boosted the brand's prospects by bringing in a highly experienced leadership team to focus on franchise development. One year later, Bebe (Bebe Stores) - a San Francisco-based, publicly traded retailer that sells apparel and accessories - acquired several of the brand's multi-unit operations, including an initial 47 Buddy's locations in November 2020 from Franchise Group for $35 million, with the additional rights to open 20 more stores. Currently, 88 percent of Buddy's units are multi-franchise owned.

Other companies and groups that have been associated with the Buddy's brand over the years include Vintage Capital Management LLC, Sears Hometown, Badcock Home Furniture, and American Freight Group.

But the Buddy's Home Furnishings franchise development team is just getting started. The corporate strategy for expansion has the brand calling for the acquisition of other companies' stores, converting them into Buddy's, and then selling those stores to multi-unit franchisees.

Buddy's Home Furnishings franchise opportunity.

Buddy's Home Furnishings has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, and payroll costs. For new franchisees, Buddy's offers 42 hours of classroom training and 60 hours of on-the-job training. The brand prides itself on having turnkey programs with proven success. All leadership, IT, and development departments have been tested, refined, and implemented.

As for specific examples of brand-based support, the franchisor's operations team helps owners succeed by helping with site selection, lease negotiations, intranet training with proprietary software systems, security and safety procedures, grand openings, purchasing coops, and franchisee assistance in the form of a toll-free call center, online support, and even field operations. And franchisees can feel secure in leaving the marketing and promotions work for Buddy's Home Furnishings, who handle co-op, regional, and national advertising (including ad templates), website development, email marketing, SEO, and even loyalty programs/mobile apps.

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Every Buddy's franchisee has a consultant assigned to them to provide one-on-one support. These consultants are very familiar with multiple levels of support, capable of assisting their store owners with any challenge.

Buddy's Home Furnishings stats.

  • Though the brand is more than six decades old, Buddy's Home Furnishings has been franchising their business model since 2009.
  • There are currently 326 units in the U.S. (37 corporate and 274 franchised units).
  • It's only six simple steps for entrepreneurs to become franchise owners, which begins with a simple discovery call.
  • This year, Buddy's earned a spot on Entrepreneur's prestigious Franchise 500 list for the second time, ranked at No. 226.
  • The Orlando-based brand has also been named to Entrepreneur's Fastest Growing Franchise list, with an 11.6% jump in units awarded over the last three years.
  • These and other stats are why Buddy's refer to themselves as "the best kept secret in franchising."

What is the best part of working at Buddy's Home Furnishings?

All of Buddy's Home Furnishings franchisees are treated with respectful autonomy, the company says. There's a proven business model and well-designed operations manual to guide owners, but the brand always maintains an open-door policy to hear about new ideas that could potentially elevate the brand - both for franchise owners and the consumers they serve.

How much does a Buddy's Home Furnishings franchise make?

Based on impressive unit economics generated from the brands' affordable appliance, electronics, and furnishings, this is a franchise soon to be in high demand. While actual results vary, for Buddy's Home Furnishings, the average gross sales per store is just over $1.5 million, with an average cash flow per store of $369,627 -- thanks to great unit economics*. Most entrepreneurs would agree that those are some respectable cash flow, gross sales figures, and financial statements. From a unit economics standpoint, Buddy's is a brand well worth your time to investigate. You can find additional financial performance disclosures in the Item 19 section of Buddy's franchise disclosure document (FDD).

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Are there any Buddy's Home Furnishings franchise opportunities near me?

Currently, there are 326 franchise locations in the United States and Guam. But there's still plenty of room to grow. Buddy's Home Furnishings has several single-unit, and multi-unit, exclusive territories available (in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, and more) and are in high demand nationwide. To find out if there's an opportunity for you to open a Buddy's Home Furnishings franchise, please visit go.ownabuddys.com.

* For the top 25 percent of store performers

Entrepreneur Staff

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