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Wild Birds Unlimited Celebrates 2019 and Looks Ahead to More Success in 2020

From industry recognition to continued expansion, there were many reasons for the brand to raise a toast to 2019, including continued growth, community engagement and new digital sales initiatives.

Wild Birds Unlimited has been around for nearly 40 years, and one of the great things about the bird feeding brand is that no victory goes unnoticed or uncelebrated. 

Such is the case with the brand’s success in 2019. Wild Birds Unlimited met several major milestones in 2019 that will help the brand start off 2020 with a bang. For one, Wild Birds Unlimited had 10 new store openings in 2019. The brand also signed nine new franchisees to the system and saw 21 store transfers. 

What’s more, several existing franchisees opted to add more units to their franchise portfolios. Of course, this is all in a day’s work for Wild Birds Unlimited, as the vast majority of its expansion happens thanks to franchisees who love the brand so much they decide to add more stores. 

Still, 2019 was especially victorious. 

“We had the highest level of expansion from existing franchisees adding additional units in 2019,” Chief Development Officer Paul Pickett said. 

In terms of industry recognition, Wild Birds Unlimited had quite the year. For one, the brand was recognized on Franchise Times’ Top 200+ List for 2019. The bird feeding franchise came in at No. 252 out of 500. Wild Birds Unlimited also came in at No. 132 in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2019 Franchise 500 Ranking

Wild Birds Unlimited also won STAR Awards for Best Overall Performance and Best Franchisee Satisfaction, cementing its status as one of the most franchisee-friendly businesses in the industry. 

The brand also continued its philanthropic and citizen science efforts. For one, Wild Birds Unlimited continued its partnership with the National Audubon Society to help promote the society’s camp scholarships and ensure more children get the chance to enjoy and learn about nature. The brand also participated in efforts such as Project FeederWatch and the Christmas Bird Count

The icing on the cake, though, is the fact that the brand continued to see an extremely positive reaction to its omni-channel initiative in 2019. The initiative, which first rolled out in late 2017, works by leveraging multiple platforms within the Wild Birds Unlimited system to create a more elevated and convenient shopping experience. This includes online and mobile ordering through the brand’s MyWBUStore, which allows customers to shop their local Wild Birds Unlimited store online. This helps ensure that customers pay the correct, locally determined prices. Wild Birds Unlimited continued to see an extremely positive reaction from customers and the franchise community.  

“The omni-channel has really been a game-changer for the Wild Birds Unlimited brand,” Pickett said. “It does not replace the excellent customer service we provide. Instead, it enhances it and ensures our customers get what they need when they need it. Our customers are quite passionate about feeding the birds and being a friend to nature, and so we want to do what we can to help.” 

In 2020, Wild Birds Unlimited plans to add 15 new locations to its system. The brand will focus its energy and efforts on entering key target markets and be even more proactive with franchise development. Wild Birds Unlimited wants to identify key markets with major growth opportunities and leverage the knowledge of existing franchisees in those regions in order to grow the brand strategically. 

“Those franchisees are really implementing all of the elements to operate their business as an enterprise,” Pickett said. “Working with them to identify opportunities to bring more joy to more customers through the hobby of backyard bird feeding is a major goal for Wild Birds Unlimited in 2020.” 

From new franchisees to expanding franchisees to a successful omni-channel, not to mention a brick-and-mortar franchise model that thrives in the age of ecommerce, Wild Birds Unlimited always has a reason to celebrate—and plenty to look forward to in the year ahead.  

The startup costs for a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise range from $150,837 to $260,991, which includes the $30,000 franchise fee. To learn more about franchising with Wild Birds Unlimited, visit https://franchise.wbu.com/

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*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.

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