Iain Humphrey, Orange
Franchise Owner's story
When Orange suggested to Iain Humphrey that he consider piloting its franchise opportunity in advance of the company's national roll out of franchise stores, he had no reservations in signing on the dotted line.
"Having worked with Orange for a long time I have an understanding of how the company operates and have no doubt that it will be the best franchise in the UK retail sector," he exclaims. "Orange has always thought outside the box in developing consumer offers and has built a very good brand as a consumer champion which is the key to its success on the high street."
As the owner of a chain of independent mobile phone stores which acted as an authorised dealer of Orange products and services, Iain had been working with Orange for 16 years before taking the next step and opening a store under the Orange brand.
"I've seen a distinct change in the marketplace over the last few years, with customers becoming more comfortable visiting nationally branded outlets rather than small independents," he reports. "This industry is still very young and is changing all the time. There will be new challenges to face as it matures and grows. If I was on the outside I would certainly be looking at Orange as the ideal route into it."
1st Store open
Iain Humphrey's first Orange franchised store opened at the entrance of a busy shopping centre in Bridlington in August, with comprehensive assistance provided by Orange's franchise team including a full store plan and shop fit.
"We absolutely love the look of the Orange store," says Iain. "It's very up to date as well as being very viable on costing. It's simplistic for the customer with a choice of counter top service or private consultation. Orange provided a turnkey operation and we were ready to open within three weeks."
Prior to launch Iain and his staff were provided with Orange's comprehensive training programme to prepare them for operating the business. "The experience we've had of Orange's training is second to none," he reports. "Orange is committed to providing top training because it is important for our customers to feel the advice they are getting is aimed at them personally. The standard of the preparation makes this franchise open to a very wide range of people with no industry experience."
Orange's commitment to maintaining the highest standards across all its stores is reflected in the support that will be provided to franchise owners through a team of Divisional Managers.
Iain's Regional Manager has been on hand prior to and during the launch of his store, with a focus on ensuring all aspects of the setup meet Orange's exacting standards. "Orange has made it easy for me by providing an experienced support team to install the procedures into my business," he reflects.
The Bridlington store is the first of many for Iain, who plans to have 10 locations open under the Orange brand in time for Christmas. "We're looking for similar sites in other town locations," he reveals. "With Orange's national advertising, the brand provides the footfall to the store, which is proving noticeably higher than in my independent locations. The combination of a great brand and the entrepreneurial drive of the franchise owner is sure to bring big rewards."