The Vitamin Shoppe launches into the franchise – WWD
The Vitamin Shoppe is launching franchises in the United States, seeking to expand its national footprint and capitalize on retail real estate values across the country.
The Secaucus, New Jersey-based specialty vitamin, mineral and supplement retailer said it was the first time in 44 years of history that it has partnered with business owners to operate franchise stores.
“Now is a particularly good time to partner with highly motivated entrepreneurs to expand our store base,” Sharon Leite, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe, said in a statement Wednesday. “This new growth strategy is an effective way to develop our commercial footprint in a favorable real estate market, while allowing our franchise partners to create dynamic and local businesses. With the events of the past year, consumers have become more invested in their health and well-being, as evidenced by the performance of The Vitamin Shoppe.
There have also been a spate of store closures due to COVID-19, bankruptcies and other types of restructuring, leaving malls and landlords eager to find new retail tenants and ready to negotiate terms and conditions. more favorable rentals.
While franchising can be an effective way to increase a retailer’s footprint, there are challenges. Companies must provide appropriate support, training and advice to franchisees so that company standards and branding are maintained.
Abroad, The Vitamin Shoppe has entered into four licensing agreements per country in Vietnam, Paraguay, Panama and Guatemala. The three licensees each have the exclusive rights to own and operate stores and distribute The Vitamin Shoppe products in their respective countries. There are two stores in Vietnam, three in Paraguay, eight in Panama and 10 in Guatemala. Additional country licenses are expected to be announced in the coming months.
In a country license agreement, the licensee manages all aspects of the retail business for the entire country, including local merchandising strategy, legal registrations for their country, marketing content local (in their local language), online or retail distribution strategies, owning local partnerships and establishing local brand ambassadors. They basically run the whole business, with our products, our branding, our intellectual property and our general support.
U.S. franchise partners will have more of a turnkey one-stop-shop model, where they own and operate real estate and the store, but The Vitamin Shoppe helps deliver the products, supply chain, marketing, legal, operations, support, etc. This model is suitable for independent operators and entrepreneurs, while international partners are larger and established companies, according to the company.
The Vitamin Shoppes franchise model provides a commission to franchisees who, along with their stores and customer service, generate sales on the vitaminshoppe.com website and the VShoppe app.
The move to franchising follows other recent innovations from the company, including renovating stores to make them easier to buy and learn about products, upgrading the loyalty program and partnering with , among others, WW (formerly Weight Watchers) and Martha Stewart CBD.
The Vitamin Shoppe said the franchise application process will take six to eight weeks. The company hopes the first franchises will open before the end of this year. The Company’s franchise stores can open in any state of the United States except Washington and Oregon, where Vitamin Shoppe operates stores under the Super Supplements banner.
The Vitamin Shoppe, which has more than 715 company-owned stores, is a subsidiary of the public Franchise Inc. group, whose businesses include Pet Supplies Plus, American Freight, Buddy’s Home Furnishings and Liberty Tax Service. On a combined basis, Franchise Group operates over 4,600 locations, primarily in the United States and Canada, which are either managed by the company or operated under franchise agreements.