The newest franchise to join the local business community is the Flip Flop Shop, which recently opened a location at Short Pump Town Center.  The franchisor is headquartered in Georgia and has been franchising since 2007.

The good news is that the system appears to be off to a solid start:  (i) gaining traction with prospects and growing steadily each year, (ii) successfully navigating the SBA Franchise Registry application process, (iii) joining well-respected industry associations such as the International Franchise Association and the International Council of Shopping Centers, (iv) offering a fee structure within the realm of reasonableness for a franchised business; (v) offering multi-unit development opportunities ( reports that 50% of all Flip Flops franchisees are multi-unit operators); and (vi) offering a relatively simple business model that is exploiting a current trend in casual footwear

Potential downsides to a Flip Flop franchised business are:  (i)  the flip flop craze is a short-term fad that will burn out in a few years (one would think that society eventually will realize that there’s nothing appealing about the sight of a man’s foot); (ii) the franchise system will grow too fast and quickly find itself with more start-up franchisees than it can reasonably be expected to support (a general guidelines is that a franchisor should have one franchisee support person on staff for every 15-20 franchisees); and (iii)  the franchisor currently does not offer any financing programs or assistance (start-up financing remains a big obstacle for prospective franchisees).

While you are more likely to spot Bigfoot than the sight of me ever wearing flip flops, I wish the local Flip Flop Shop all the best and welcome them to the local franchise community!