Franchise units dropped from 451 to 378 from 2016 to 2017. Owners blame the retailer’s steady decline in revenue.
The shuttering of hundreds of Sears stores may be affecting owners of Sears Home and Business Franchises, which include a range of franchisee-owned businesses such as maid services, handyman businesses, carpet and air-duct cleaning services, and garage-repair businesses. A recent Wall Street Journal piece chronicled the predicament of a number of those franchisees, many of whom said the parent company’s declining revenue has been detrimental to their businesses.
Sears’ franchising arm doesn't generate a huge percent of its revenue, with $13.7 million collected from royalties and other fees in the 2017 fiscal year. Nevertheless, bad news has come quickly for Sears franchisees, as 66 franchises were terminated by the retailer in 2017, 15 percent of the total, up from just 5 percent in 2016. In 2015, franchise unit numbers actually increased 6.6 percent.
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