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Franchise Questions and Answers
Q. What are the benefits of joining a successful franchise
as opposed to going it alone?
The main benefit is that you independently own the business, while being part of something much bigger and being backed by an experienced and passionate team. It’s also well worth noting that franchises have twice the survival rate of other start up-style businesses.
The primary reasons for this are that franchises provide proven (and visible) business models that leverage their market position and the power of their brand. They also provide instant access to an established supply chain and often with group buying power that is well beyond any individual.
Successful marketing programs are fundamental to the success of any business and this is an area where franchises really shine. Most offer co-op marketing funds and well-tested programs spanning media campaigns to referral networks and loyalty schemes.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, franchises offer uniform standards and proven operating procedures with ongoing access to management expertise, training and support. All of which means that you can focus on growing your business quickly, and with considerably reduced risk.
Q. What is the history of the Shoe Clinic and how long has it been in business?
Shoe Clinic opened its first store in Wellington in 1998. Since that time it has added 17 more stores across the nation. The founders, Neville McAlister and Hamish French, are passionate sporting advocates and bring over 30 years of combined industry experience ranging from launching and managing sports performance stores to sales and marketing roles for the likes of Nike and Adidas.
Q. How many stores do you currently have and where are they located?
Shoe Clinic currently has 18 stores in total. Each has been strategically located to provide maximum market access and franchisee benefit.
Current locations include: Albany, Ponsonby, Newmarket, Sylvia Park, Manukau, Hamilton, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Masterton, Porirua, Lower Hutt, Wellington, Nelson, Riccarton, Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill.
Q. What locations are currently available and what protections
will I have for my territory?
New store locations are still available in most territories. Shoe Clinic management will provide skilled assistance with location selection to ensure maximum leverage and fully realized market potential. Franchise owners are guaranteed exclusive territorial rights within a 3km radius of their store.
Q. What kinds of footwear and apparel do you sell?
Shoe Clinic stocks only high quality name brand sports footwear and apparel. Our range includes the latest footwear offerings from Asics, Brooks, Adidas, Mizuno, New Balance, Rockport and fashionable, stylish and modern apparel from Adidas, Nike, Asics, 2XU and Thorlo.
Q. What technologies do you use for foot scan analysis?
Shoe Clinic uses only state-of-the-art technologies to ensure precise foot analysis and perfect shoe fit. Dynamic gait analysis (foot motion) is available using computer-based motion sensor technologies such as the Adidas-designed Footscan mat system and Silicon Coach’s treadmill-based video scan system.
Comprehensive training is provided to all franchisee staff in the use of these technologies, including digital printout of gait analysis for customers, along with best-fit recommendations on shoes and accessories.
Q. What evidence do you have that Shoe Clinic is in a fast growth industry?
The global performance sports footwear market is currently experiencing average annual growth rates of around 15% with average margins around 40%. The main driver is the rise in active leisure pursuits, particularly walking, and especially amongst women and the elderly.
The sports apparel industry is currently enjoying even faster growth rates and industry pundits expect this to increase substantially with the rise in technology and the science of clothing.
Q. Approximately how much cash do I need for my initial investment?
Shoe Clinic recommends its franchisees allow a minimum of $80,000 for store set-up and an initial stock holding of around $200,000 for the first year.
Q. When can I realistically expect to make a profit?
This will obviously depend on a number of factors, but prospective franchisees can take assurance from the fact that most Shoe Clinic franchisees reach break-even inside 12 months and most are profitable within the first 18 months. Note too that the more successful franchisees can expect to achieve profitability in even shorter timeframes than this.
Q. What are the main forms of marketing and what benefit
can I expect to receive from this?
One of Shoe Clinic’s key competitive differences is the effectiveness of its marketing programs. Brand promotion is provided through regular event sponsorship and media advertising campaigns including television, newspaper and radio. Shoe Clinic has also built a strong and powerful referral network, consisting of podiatrists, fitness trainers and other health professionals.
Our Internet-based direct marketing platform is second-to-none in the industry and allows our franchisees to easily target selected customer groups in order build loyalty and increase levels of repeat business. Our Advantage Loyalty Club provides immediate signup incentive to receive email points updates and a range of other promotional activities.
Q. What level of operations support and training will I receive
and what kinds of things will it cover?
Shoe Clinic is a strong advocate of performance improvement through standard operating systems and regular staff training. Franchise owner/managers receive comprehensive set-up assistance and training on store selection, fit out, stock, and accounting and administration systems.
Our Standard Operating Procedures manual provides detailed and easy-to-follow guidelines on every aspect of the Shoe Clinic business, from daily store routines through to advice on the most effective and proven marketing methods. An ongoing training regime for owners and employees covering everything from product updates to handling customer complaints guarantees maximum efficiencies, and a high level of staff retention and motivation.