Special Feature - Retail Franchises - Issue 2#1

By Business Franchise Magazine

This article appeared in Issue 2#1 (Nov/Dec 2007) of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand

Shop around for retail business opportunities

Wander around any major regional shopping centre, suburban shopping complex or even down a local shopping strip and you’re guaranteed to come across a retail franchise business. 

With a diverse range of retail franchises on offer in Australia prospective franchisees have plenty of choice when shopping around to find the right retail business.

Retail franchises account for 29 per cent of the 910 franchise systems operating in Australia and continue to be the fastest growing sector in franchising. 

For many potential franchisees, a retail franchise offers the security of a tried and test business system, a recognised brand, established marketing tools, and ongoing support and advice. 

Other benefits of a retail business franchise include an established supply chain, economies of scale and national advertising campaigns. A non-background in retailing is not a barrier as many franchisors provide extensive training and knowledge about their market sector.

Like most other business sectors, retailing is very much driven by consumer demand and the state of the economy and so franchisees have to be prepared for downturns in the market. 

Location is also crucial as it is imperative that customers can easily access the business. The wrong location can be disastrous.

While the retail sector is very tough and competitive, it can be very rewarding but potential franchisees must do their research in selecting the right retail franchise that most suits them. 

Aussie Disposals is the largest chain of disposal stores operating in the Southern Hemisphere. Established in 1962, the Australian-owned business specialises in the sale of a wide range of top quality camping and outdoor adventure products including snow ski and board gear as well as Army Surplus products from all over the world. Aussie Disposals started franchising in 1980 and has 15 franchise stores and 24 company stores operating and plans to open further stores.

Barbeques Galore is one of Australia’s leading outdoor leisure retailers in Australia. Established in 1976, the business started out selling barbecues and barbecue accessories and later expanded into outdoor furniture, camping equipment and tents. There are 150 company-owned and franchise stores operating across Australia and the United States.

Cash Converters core business involves the buying and selling of second-hand goods over the counter for cash. What began as a single store operation in Western Australia in 1984 is today a dynamic international franchise group with over 110 Cash Converter stores around Australia and 450 stores worldwide. Franchisees receive retail training in buying, sales and service and merchandising and are supported with national advertising and marketing programs to drive retail traffic and increase the value of the Cash Converters brand. 

The Confectionary and Party Shop is 100 percent Australian owned and has been operating for more than 15 years. Located in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand the stores provide a one-stop shop for all party needs. Entry into the franchise is cost effective and all stores are fully stocked and fitted with the latest industry equipment, extensive signage and computer system. Franchisees receive extensive and ongoing training and assistance from a Field Support Team to help grow their business.

Allphones is a specialist multi-carrier telecommunications retailer that has been in business for 16 years. There are more than 150 stores operating nationwide and the company has plans for future franchise-growth with 25 stores scheduled to open by the end of 2007. Allphones franchise model allows franchisees to operate in a true partnership with the company by sharing gross profits and not incurring royalties based on turnover.

Game Traders is a multi-award winning company that specialises in new and pre-played computer games and consoles. Dealing in Atari to the latest systems such as Playstation 3, XBOX 360 and Nintendo Wii, customers are able to walk into any Gametraders franchise and trade in their unwanted games, consoles and accessories giving them a valuable point of difference over the competition. Game Traders started franchising in 2002 and has 40 stores throughout Australia.

Book City is a chain of 28 general book stores that operate in regional centres across five Australian states. The first Book City company store opened in Ballarat in 1979 and franchising started in 1994. A Book City franchise offers franchisees a complete business package including training in all aspects of the business, on-going merchandising and field support, group advertising and wholesale prices.

Howards Storage World is a specialist retailer that offers customers an innovative range of storage solutions for the home and office in an exciting shopping environment. Since it opened its first franchise in 1998, the company has experienced rapid growth with 56 stores now operating in Australia and Master Franchises in Singapore, New Zealand, Spain and the Middle East. Franchisees are provided with a high level of training and on-going support and assistance in developing their business plan, merchandising, marketing and IT.

From small beginnings in 1996 Dare Gallery has grown to become one of the county’s fastest growing furniture retailers. Dare’s 17 stores offers a wide range of beautifully designed and meticulously made home furnishings including, sofas, dining settings, chairs, beds, cabinetry, coffee tables, outdoor furniture, rugs, cushions, mattresses, pillows, lamps and entertainment units. A successful brand, marketing and sophisticated business systems are behind the success of Dare Gallery franchisees.

Kenny’s Cardiology is a boutique chain of cards and gifts outlets that can be found in major regional and city shopping centres. While greeting cards remain a specialty, stores also stock a wide range of wrapping paper and materials, stationery, home wares, dolls, collectables and teddy bears. Franchisees are provided with everything to get their business off to a successful start including a detailed training program and continual support with national marketing and media campaigns, group purchasing power, merchandising support and regular meetings and network opportunities. 

Collins Booksellers is an Australian-owned book selling company with over 70 years experience. With 34 franchised stores, the company is looking to expand its presence in regional and suburban areas Australia wide. Franchisees are supported throughout every stage of setting up their business and benefit from ongoing management support and training.

Absolute Apparel is the business that businesses, corporate clients and sporting clubs turn to for all their work wear, corporate clothing, uniforms and promotional products. The business is looking for energetic, enthusiastic committed people to take up franchise opportunities which offer an exclusive territory, good returns, regular business hours and ongoing training and support.

With 116 stores across Australia and New Zealand, The Athletes Foot is a leading retailer of sports, leisure and comfort footwear. It is the world’s first franchisor of athletic footwear stores and is recognized worldwide as the leader in athletic footwear franchising. New franchisees are supported every step of the way in establishing their business through proven business training covering store operations, customer sales and service, store design and presentation, merchandise management, marketing and financial management.

Clark Rubber is an icon of the Australian retail landscape having been in business for 60 years. Leaders in the foam, rubber and above ground pool retail market, Clark Rubber has 84 franchise stores in Australia and eight stores operating under the Para Rubber brand in New Zealand. The company believes that franchising provides a new business with a far greater opportunity for long term success and prosperity than an independent small business. Franchisee have a wealth of support provided from the national franchise support office team including marketing, product management, merchandising, IT, finance and business analysis.

Bed Shed is a specialist bedding and bedroom furniture retailer with stores in 36 stores operating across Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland. The company is looking for motivated people to help it expand to 80 stores by 2011. Previous retail experience is desirable but not essential as management training and ongoing support is provided to franchisees.

The Complete Garden is a specialist in home and garden furniture, décor and giftware. Established in 1988 the business has grown to 31 franchise stores operating in Australia and New Zealand. Each store is professionally set up and displayed ready for successful trade. Experienced buyers do the initial buying and set up of each store and then source and buy new stock from domestic and international fairs. Franchise owners are provided with ongoing business support, professional marketing advice and networking through newsletters, emails and group meetings.

An exclusive range of fashion and costume jewellery and accessories are sold at Kleins stores which are located in regional and city shopping centres. Franchising started in Victoria in 1990 and today there are over 180 stores in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The company provides knowledge, support and expertise to franchise owners who are licensed to use the Klein’s brand, image and business systems.

Eurolight is one of Australia’s fastest growing lighting chains, offering a vast range of local and imported lighting products to reflect today’s changing styles. Its stores stock a range of popular lighting products from downlights, spotlights, pendant lighting, and flush fittings, to table lamps, exterior lighting, floor stands, ceiling fans, 3-in-one bathroom fan heater lights and even lava lamps. Franchisees are assisted with finding a suitable location, store fit out, point of sale systems and inventory management and stock control. They receive extensive product training and business management training to help fast-track their business.

100 percent Australian-owned, Gelatissimo sells a range of Italian-style gelato which is made daily in store. Other products include gelato sundaes, chocolates, roasted coffee, Italian Biscotti and a selection of gifts including boxed chocolates and imported nougat. Launched in 2002, there are now 26 stores operating in eastern states and stores in Singapore and Indonesia. Franchisees receive comprehensive training in all facets of the business and ongoing benefits including marketing, operational management support and advice, product development and research.

Godfreys is a market leader for vacuum cleaners, accessories and cleaning products, with over 183 stores in Australia and New Zealand. As a cleaning specialist Godfreys is in business to provide customers with the best advice, products, and services to meet their cleaning needs.

holySheet! enjoys a unique position as a leader in bedroom and bathroom homewares for the more fashion conscious homeowner. Over 50 per cent of holySheets! products are designed in-house. Stores stock a range of pillows, cotton sheets, quilt covers, towels, bathroom accessories, cushions, pyjamas and rubber duckies. The business is looking to further expand the 28 stores currently operating across Australia and New Zealand. Extensive training and ongoing support is provided to franchisees to set up their store and benefit from ongoing advertising and merchandising support and a customer loyalty program.

Established more than 30 years ago, Mary Ryan’s Book, Music and Coffee is an independent bookstore. The success of the nine Mary Ryan’s bookstores is due to is superior customer service, knowledgeable staff and a strong commitment to servicing every book inquiry be it special orders, stock on shelf or inter-store transfers. Franchise opportunities are available to those wanting to own their own bookshop and share their passion and knowledge of books. 

Matchbox is a family owned and operated business that specialises in home and kitchen accessories. As a two store operation starting in 1996, Matchbox has grown steadily to establish itself as a leading brand in the market with 10 chain stores in Melbourne. The business offers potential franchisees a proven business system and retail expertise, recognised brand, initial and ongoing training and head office support.

Oz Design Furniture is a successful, franchise based, furniture retailer that has been operating for more than two decades. Stores stock a range of leading furniture products including fabric and leather sofas, dining settings, entertainment units, coffee tables and accessories. With opportunities to join Oz Design Furniture available nationwide, franchisees receive extensive business support including full training, marketing and advertising, merchandising, stock buying, product development and business management.

With 115 years of trading Solomons Flooring is the most established name in floor coverings. Their products include carpets, vinyls, timber and laminate flooring and rugs. Solomons has been franchising since the 1970s and has a network of franchise stores throughout Australia. New franchisees receive assistance with site locations, lease negotiations, store layout and fitout, marketing and training in business, sales and customer service.

Tile Mart is one of Victoria’s largest tile retailers with showrooms across Melbourne and regional centres. Showrooms stock a stunning range of Italian designer tiles and huge selection of everyday tiles suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry and living areas as well as products to lay tiles. With a proven franchise system, franchise opportunities are available throughout Victoria.

Vast Interior is a rapidly growing speciality retailer of imported exotic handcrafted furniture and homewares. The first store opened in 1991 and has expanded the chain to more than 30 stores in Australia and stores in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Franchisees come from a diverse background but share a passion the business, products and are motivated to succeed.

3D Paint Store Ltd is a well established franchise of retail and trade paint and décor stores with over 120 locations nationwide. As part of a large specialist paint group, 3D franchisees benefit from greater buying power and marketing, a simplified administration and invoicing system, ongoing support and assistance with store development, finance, advertising, marketing and administration.

Mountain Designs sells outdoor clothing, backpacks and accessories, sleeping bags and tents for sports and recreation. Established in 1975 the business has grown with over 20 retail outlets in Australia and New Zealand. The business has a strong customer focus in providing customers with the right equipment for them to pursue their adventures.

Price Attack is a leading professional haircare retailer that also provides hair salon services to its customers. Price Attacks 120 plus salons stock an extensive range of professional haircare and beauty products. Franchisees enjoy the benefits of ongoing training, marketing and support, a recognised national brand, buying power and expertise.

A specialist outdoor and traveller retailer, Snowgum caters for clothing and equipment needs of adventurers. Their product range extends to outdoor clothing, footwear, lightweight tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and accessories. With stores in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand, the business is looking to expand further. 

Supanews is a newsagency retailer with a chain of 32 stores (19 franchised) in Queensland, NSW and Victoria. Located in shopping centres, Supanews stores sell a comprehensive range of magazines, greeting cards, stationery, lottery, drinks, confectionery, telecommunications, books and much more. Franchisees receive a fully operational turnkey business, marketing and branding as well as the business tools and support structure to run a successful business.

What started as a business at a weekend market, de Pot Man has grown to become one of Queensland’s leading pot retailers. The franchise sells a wide range of ceramic pots and containers and associated products and offers advice and assistance to customers. The business is looking to expand and franchisees can benefit from a proven business model, strong brand awareness and retail knowledge, a developed range of services and products and variety and good pricing of products. Following initial 2 weeks training, franchisees receive ongoing support.

Capt’n Snooze are retailers of an extensive range of quality bedding, manchester and bedroom furniture at competitive prices. With more than 70 stores nationwide, Snooze offers franchisee support and stability of a proven business formula, innovative marketing and advertising campaigns, guidance with financial management and business planning.

Bookbinders Design is a new franchise retailer to Australia which sells Swedish designed and handcrafted stationery and giftware. A recognised brand worldwide, Bookbinders Design stock a wide range of handcrafted products including photo albums, notebooks, diaries, ring binders, storage boxes and writing accessories. With one store in Melbourne, the company is looking to open further stores.