In order for a retail business to be successful, there’s one thing that its owner needs to take into account before ever opening their doors: location, location, location.
It’s no secret that real estate has the potential to make or break a brand’s bottom line—businesses need to ensure that they’re setting up shop in an area where they’re reaching their core customers as well as potential new fans. That’s why Wild Birds Unlimited provides extensive support for its franchisees throughout the entire site selection process.
Backed by more than 30 years of franchising experience, Wild Birds Unlimited gives all of its local owners access to a simple and proven business model. By following the systems that the brand already has in place, franchisees gain an automatic leg up on the competition. That includes selecting the right real estate—Wild Birds Unlimited knows which sites best match its model, ultimately giving franchisees the best opportunity to share the joy of backyard bird feeding. From a store’s size and financial metrics to its proximity to strong shopping and ideal demographics, the brand has a guide in place to ensure that its franchisees are signing the right lease.
In an effort to make the real estate selection process less overwhelming, Wild Birds Unlimited has established a relationship with a commercial brokerage house that works across the U.S. and Canada. Together with its franchisees, the brand is able to identify the best possible store options in a specific local neighborhood.
“It used to be that I would physically visit every potential store site. But the internet has made it incredibly easy to check out locations from my office at the Franchise Support Center. That’s one advantage that’s streamlined the process and is helping our franchisees get their stores up and running at a much faster pace,” said Paul Pickett, chief development officer for Wild Birds Unlimited. “We also have a lot of other resources at our disposal that we encourage our local owners to take advantage of. Because we’ve been helping to secure real estate as a brand for the past three decades, we’ve established a network of partners across the U.S. who help us find the best possible sites for our services.”
Barbara Haralson, Wild Birds Unlimited’s franchisee in Greensboro, North Carolina, is one franchisee who has relied on the brand’s site selection guide more than once. After her store had been open for 11 years, she realized that there were more opportunities for growth in her market. To tap into climbing demand for Wild Birds Unlimited’s products in the area, she realized that she decided to move to a new location.
“Without support from Wild Birds Unlimited’s corporate team, we never would have been able to successfully move to our new store. Things would have slipped through the cracks simply because we didn’t have any prior experience moving a business. But Wild Birds Unlimited brings years of experience and expertise to the table—they’ve walked the walk before,” said Haralson. “There’s no doubt that help from the brand’s support team has played a major role in our success. If I had to go back and launch a business all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Wild Birds Unlimited’s real estate selection support doesn’t end with finding a site. In order to ensure that its franchisees are set up for success in the long run, the brand also guides its owners through the entire lease negotiation process. And as franchisees continue to grow alongside Wild Birds Unlimited, the brand ensures that its support system is easily accessible for the life of the franchise agreement.
“As a franchisor, it’s our job to ensure that our local owners are positioned for success before they even open up their doors for business. That’s not a responsibility we take lightly—we go above and beyond to provide our franchisees with the support that they need so that they can realize their dream of bringing people and nature together,” said Pickett. “By continuing to work with entrepreneurs who share our passion for the Wild Birds Unlimited brand, we’re confident that we’ll keep finding prime real estate in every market where we expand.”