Rohan continues its ascent in retail franchising

Rohan Designs Ltd is celebrating the first anniversary of launching its UK franchise opportunity.

The poor quality of outdoor clothing on the market in the early 1970s inspired husband and wife Paul and Sarah Howcroft to take a radical step and they decided to establish Rohan to develop their own.

From their kitchen table in the Yorkshire Dales, came hand-machined samples, which brought a new view to textile technology and garment design. Their initial success among local climbing clubs rapidly spread across the country so that today, Rohan remains an independent company with innovative views on how a successful organisation should operate. Rohan Designs already has over 40 stores around the UK and has identified a further 20 to 30 areas in which it wishes to open franchised Rohan outlets.

“Our move into franchising signalled a new focus at Rohan on developing and improving our retail operations,” explains Retail Director Ian Palmer. “Our franchise opportunity benefits from our extensive merchandising operation, which restocks sold items within 48 hours and provides the franchise owner a retail proposition in which no capital is tied up in stock.”

Priority target areas have been identified for further development in 2011 and the company is looking for franchise owners who possess enthusiasm, a passion for the Rohan brand and its associated products, high standards of professionalism and a commitment to building good customer relationships through excellent service standards.

Franchise owner Nigel Mee opened his Worcester store in July 2010 and, with his background in project marketing and no formal retailing experience, the Rohan franchise opportunity provided the ideal business proposition.

“I had looked at several franchises across a wide spectrum of sectors but the quality of the Rohan brand coupled with no capital tied up in stock made it an easy decision to make. The support provided from store fit out, stock allocation and replenishment to marketing has made my transition into retailing far easier than I expected.”

With the advantage of a fully automated stock holding and reordering system that ensures the franchise owners’ store is constantly restocked with the most popular product ranges, combined with a huge database of committed Rohan customers, which the company can drive into stores through its proven mail marketing programme, the Rohan franchise opportunity is a very cost effective and efficient business system.

Nigel adds: “Our sales have exceeded our expectations and the Rohan customer database enabled us to achieve a successful store launch.”

In 2010, the company launched 21 new stores, eight of which are franchised including Leamington Spa, Worcester, Stow on the Wold, Knutsford, Hay on Wye and Winchester. The aim is to add a further 15 franchise outlets in 2011.

Franchise Package Includes:

  • Site Selection
  • Training Programme
  • Launch Programme
  • IT System
  • Premises Project Management
  • Operations Manual
  • Licensing Rights

Initial Investment Requirement:

Total investment required is approximately £35,000-£60,000 + VAT; this includes an initial franchise fee of £19,750 + VAT.

The total investment can vary depending upon the type of property utilised and the fit out works undertaken.

No Stock Risk

Rohan has developed a merchandising system which has enabled the company to create a retail franchise that requires no capital outlay in stock!

Rohan holds its stock items in its warehouse and retains nominal ownership of all items in the franchise stores racks.

When an item is sold, the details are automatically communicated via the till system and a replacement item is sent out within 48 hours.

With no capital tied up in stock, the franchise owner can rely on Rohan’s merchandising experience to ensure that the right balance of stock items and sizes are on display.

All sales revenue is initially collected by Rohan’s bank, which at the end of every week pays the franchise owner a profit margin on all their sales.

Reported by Tiffany Brooking