In august 2008, Mrs. Fields famed Brands – the parent company of cookie chain Mrs. Fields and frozen yogurt chain TCBY – filed because that bankruptcy. Mall web traffic was declining. The frozen yogurt sector was overrun with new competitors. The finish seemed near.
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But somehow in the past year, famous Brands" franchise unit growth doubled. Next year, it is expected to double again. COO David Bloom calls the a "renaissance" for Mrs. Fields, which opened its very first store in 1977, and also TCBY, established in 1981.
What happened? The two chains discovered found the vital to a brand-new era of well known Brands: cashing in on every other"s strengths.
Famous Brands recently announced that, together of June, it would nearly exclusively be occurring dual-branded Mrs. Fields/TCBY locations, following successful tests by franchisees. Franchisees who broadened to offer both TCBY and Mrs. Fields reportedly swiftly doubled their profits, with little increase in franchise fees, occupancy expenses or staffing.
"From a service standpoint, it really significantly adjusted our model," claims Bloom. "In heat weather, we boom on the TCBY side, when Mrs. Fields is a small bit softer, and vice versa. So, when we placed those two brands together, us took the seasonality out and
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Beyond balancing each various other out, the two brands together are much more than the sum of your parts. Mrs. Areas has traditionally been a food-court mainstay, and struggled together foot web traffic in malls has plummeted in recent years. Meanwhile, TCBY was slow to adapt to a frozen-yogurt sector that has embraced chains such together Pinkberry and also Red Mango, which offer unconventional flavors, healthy and balanced toppings and also a design that lets customers serve themselves.
When the 2 combine, Mrs. Fields has the possibility to undertaking out that the mall and also TCBY has actually a secret ingredient – fresh cookies – that other fro-yo chain lack.
"It"s one of those principles that simply resonates through people, like milk and cookies," states Bloom. "It doesn"t take a lot come convince civilization it"s a good idea."
While both chain struggled to uncover prime places to open up Mrs. Fields and also TCBY individually, the double branded areas sparked landlords" interest. This year the firm opened 85 brand-new stores in the U.S., add to 35 around the world – twice the number it opened the year before. Following year, Bloom says the company is feather to dual the number again.
While dual branding has been crucial in Mrs. Fields and TCBY"s comeback, the brand-new locations actually sell three streams of revenue: sales native cookies and also frozen yogurt, to add gift merchandise in the form of Mrs. Areas Gifting Stations.
Famous Brands began testing gifting station in Hong Kong 2 years ago. Mrs. Areas stores that offer the company dedicate about fifty percent of their square footage to gift products, such as cookies, brownies and popcorn, and ordering kiosks that enable customers customize and also ship gifts all over in the world. In the last year, Mrs. Fields" gift merchandise, i beg your pardon is especially popular for carriers sending presents for that company holidays, trade shows and also business conferences, carried in $50 million.
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Gifting stations at new Mrs. Fields/TCBY locations permit Famous brands to introduce a new kind of franchise that brings ecommerce right into the realm of franchisees. Most franchises, particularly in the food industry, have focused on tech as a method to get customers right into their stores, v coupons and deals, or to speed up business, through online and also digital ordering. Through gifting stations constructed into most brand-new franchises, franchisees have the chance to include an entirely different type of revenue to your stores.
"Putting ecommerce into a brick-and-mortar organization is somewhat the divine grail in how you maximize the return on invest for franchisees and also brands," states Bloom.
The road to renaissance started at renowned Brands" lowest point, when the company declared bankruptcy in 2008 – and then narrowly avoided proclaiming bankruptcy again in 2011. In December 2011, famous Brands delivered control of the firm to creditor Z Capital and also The Carlyle Group. In July 2013, Z resources bought the end The Carlyle group to come to be the single owner of well known Brands. That"s when, follow to Bloom, things finally started to click.
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With the new dual branded franchises and also an exploding ecommerce business, Mrs. Field"s and also TCBY"s strategies are ultimately going from trial and error stages to significant changes.
"Now, we"re in somewhat of a renaissance, ns think," says Bloom. "It"s going come be very interesting. Yes, the brands, ns think, lost some relevance in the last few years, yet in the last pair years started to ramp up. Now, it"s just exploding."