A rewarding market where everybody is your customer

With a successful flagship store proving its internationally successful concept in the UK, EmbroidMe is seeking to establish a national network of stores

It's not a fad, it's not a short-term opportunity - in today's identity-conscious world EmbroidMe offers a one-stop solution to branding, promotion, identity and awareness for companies, organisations and individuals alike. As the largest full service embroidery, garment printing and promotional products store group in the world, EmbroidMe is now offering a unique franchise opportunity with the launch of its franchise in the UK.

What differentiates EmbroidMe and gives this franchise the competitive edge in its market? Well there are undoubted key benefits to an EmbroidMe franchise. Firstly, the business has a retail frontage - a working showroom as a marketing tool positioned advantageously in the franchisee's locality. Awareness is created as soon as you open. No hiding behind the invisible walls of the internet or setting the minimum runs of factory production in less than salubrious industrial estates. An EmbroidMe store is open and welcoming to all, whether they be individual consumers, local organisations or business representatives. The showroom promotes a wide range of garments and promotional products and clearly displays the extensive range of personalisation options available. This lets the customer see, feel and even try on the garments.

The second advantage is that each franchise is equipped to personalise the customer's product on-site. Controlling the embroidery and garment printing process ensures a level of quality, consistency and customer service that many third party businesses cannot provide.

The third and most important advantage of EmbroidMe is gained through the proven systems which support the franchise. Everything that is needed from a marketing and operational point of view has been developed and honed to ensure that each EmbroidMe franchisee has all the tools that a big business would relish, yet retains all the flexibility that gives a local business its advantage.

As in all countries into which EmbroidMe is introduced, a flagship store is set-up in advance of franchises being offered in order that all local supply chain and operational issues can be ironed out and advantageous terms can be agreed for the franchisees. Northampton was the chosen location for the EmbroidMe flagship store in the UK. Northampton provided a model location for the UK flagship with a population of 200,000 and just over 5,000 registered businesses. Over the last 18 months the growth of the store's customer base has been impressive across all sectors of the local community, from schools to orchestras, from motor racing teams to the local County Council and from small to very large local businesses.

It is the customer base that is one of the most exciting elements of the franchise. Everybody is your customer. What the Northampton store has proved is that there is great business potential out there and that, by focusing on customer service, the level of repeat business is exceptionally high. For the team in Northampton that in itself is highly rewarding.

Customer service is an essential element of the training programme, which includes three weeks' on-site instruction when you set-up preceded by an inspirational fortnight for the franchisee at EmbroidMe's renowned Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence in West Palm Beach, Florida. 'School', as it is known in the corporate office, has been described by many as a life-changing experience. This is due to the success of EmbroidMe, with over 450 stores opened in 15 countries since franchising commenced in 2001. Undoubtedly the franchise is meeting the needs of today's market and the trend is growing! Ask about an EmbroidMe Discovery Day. It may well provide you with the threads of success!

Text: EmbroidMe UK'Managing Director Bill Souter