Buying a Franchise

Is a Retail Franchise for You?

Retail franchise opportunities abound, but this is a challenging time to be a retailer. Big Box chains have taken over much of the retail space, e-commerce is increasingly threatening brick and mortar stores, and consumers are more demanding than ever.

Retail also requires a large investment in stock and sales staff, a lot of management skills, and long hours. This is not the area to focus on if easy money is your goal. According to Statistic Brain, fewer than half of retail business start-ups are still in business after four years.

Going with a franchise can mitigate the failure rate. Consider Good Feet, for example.  This store sells custom-fitted arch supports — something you can’t buy online and won’t find in a discount chain. They offer aggressive national marketing and a celebrity spokesman, neither of which the average new store owner can command.

A retail franchise can help with the main reasons for retail failure, which include logistics issues, insufficient stock, and plain old incompetence in addition to competition from Walmart and Amazon. However, there are also different business models among franchisors. Some new ideas may not have the problems more traditional retail faces.

JockSale’s business model is different from either traditional retail or ordinary consignment shops. Instead of having a consignment shop that’s open during normal business hours where the day-to-day activity consists of running the store, JockSale is a single event over a weekend that attracts a lot of attention and business. Preparation work ahead of time and running the event during that weekend takes around six weeks after signing the franchise agreement and events can be held a few times every year. Franchisees can work regular part-time or even full-time jobs while planning the event and take time off during the big sale week.

Overhead is low. First, the short period of the JockSale allows franchisees to use empty spaces, like empty storefronts and civic centers, at reduced prices. Landlords love having some income while their location is sitting empty and the attention a JockSale brings is free advertising for the space, so franchisees can expect to get great deals on space. On top of low rent for the sales period, JockSales also does without employees or inventory. (Entrepreneurs who wish to pursue event-based consignment franchises should probably keep an eye on Rhea Lana’s fight with the U.S. Department of Labor and the Arkansas Department of Labor.)

JockSales specializes in outdoor and sports gear, which many people have a hard time selling on consignment. Most resale shops don’t take sports gear because it doesn’t match their client niche. Garage sales take a lot of effort and selling online is a hassle. Yet much sports gear is used very little by owners, who may buy the equipment in a short-lived spurt of enthusiasm for a sport. By focusing on a strong niche in the community, JockSale brings together all the items that might have been sprinkled here and there across the community to one place for customers to buy. This benefits shoppers and sellers alike.

Whether you try your hand at a traditional retail store like GoodFeet or go with an innovative system like JockSales, franchising can increase your chances of retail success.

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