Re­ces­sion-Re­sis­tant Fran­chises Pur­sue In­ter­na­tional Growth

Inc. (USA) - - FRANCHISE -

Eight years af­ter the last U.S. re­ces­sion, fran­chise in­vestors are em­brac­ing down­turn-re­sis­tant con­cepts that are ex­pand­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally. Great Clips of Bloom­ing­ton, Minnesota, has been around for 35 years, notes Beth Caron, di­rec­tor of fran­chise de­vel­op­ment for the value-priced hair salons. “A lot of peo­ple are at­tracted to the idea that they can be in a busi­ness with a brand that has that kind of his­tory,” Caron says. Of more than 4,200 Great Clips lo­ca­tions, 150 are in Canada, Caron says. The fran­chiser plans to open 200 lo­ca­tions dur­ing the next year. Tar­get mar­kets in­clude up­state New York, Long Is­land, Mem­phis, South Florida, and Los An­ge­les.

Cruise Plan­ners re­sponded ef­fec­tively to the last re­ces­sion by ex­pand­ing be­yond cruises to in­clude land va­ca­tions, all- in­clu­sive re­sorts, tours, and more, says Michelle Fee, CEO of the Coral Springs, Florida-based Amer­i­can Ex­press travel rep­re­sen­ta­tive. “While some peo­ple may not be trav­el­ing as ex­trav­a­gantly or up­grad­ing dur­ing a re­ces­sion, va­ca­tion time is still sa­cred,” Fee says. Cruise Plan­ner’s “busi­ness-in-a-box” model lets fran­chise own­ers work from home with pro­pri­etary tech­nol­ogy and mar­ket­ing sup­port. The com­pany has more than 1,800 home-based fran­chises in all 50 states and is con­cen­trat­ing on ex­pand­ing in the Mid­west and West.

Sport Clips Hair­cuts saw no im­pact on sales dur­ing 2008 and 2009, says Gor­don Lo­gan, founder and CEO of the Ge­orge­town, Texas-based chain cater­ing to a male clien­tele. “Men are very con­sis­tent with their hair­cuts, every three to four weeks,” Lo­gan says. Sport Clips Hair­cuts has 1,635 open lo­ca­tions with a pres­ence in every state, plus 40 in Canada. Lo­gan an­tic­i­pates adding 150 or more in the next year, with par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on the North­east.

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