7/20/2011 12:39:00 PM
Shebang gears up on Go Mobile franchises
Shebang has opened seven new stores and transferred 14 managed stores into franchised ownership since it showcased its Purple Partnership programme to 200 potential franchisees at a series of seminars at Daventry Town Football Club last month.
Speaking to Mobile, Julian Burton (pictured), MD of Shebang Consumer Solutions, said a welter of franchise deals had been sealed on the back of the seminars.
He said: ‘It was highly successful and since those seminars, we have transferred 14 of our managed stores into franchises and have opened another seven new stores.
‘We also have over 20 active deals in the pipeline, most of which will be brand new stores. Of those deals there will be another four new stores opening next month.’
Shebang launched the Purple Partnership programme last year to spearhead its drive into franchised retailing. It aims to grow its Go Mobile retail estate to at least 200 stores by 2012 by taking on new franchise partners who will either open new stores or take over directly managed Go Mobile stores.
Burton said Shebang currently has 57 franchised stores and 44 directly managed stores, with plans to open at least another 20 stores this year in new locations.
Burton said: ‘Two months ago we reached the tipping point of having more franchised stores than managed stores in our portfolio and the week of seminars we had last month has really accelerated that.
We are very happy with the overall uptake.’
Burton said Shebang plans to run a predominantly franchised retail estate. However, he added: ‘There will always be a place for managed stores as it is useful to have a degree of presence, but it is hard to justify anything other than franchised stores as they consistently outperform our managed stores.’
Burton said the new franchise partners hailed from a variety of backgrounds: ‘We have a healthy mix of partners with experience in mobile retail, electronics retail and from the wider retail world, as well as some existing Go Mobile staffers who want to run their own stores.’