Sharing Experience & Skill with Franchise Owners

A top notch store opening and support system fine-tuned over 40 store launches in the UK is in place to support franchise owners coming on board with Rohan's new franchise opportunity

A new launch franchise opportunity from outdoor clothing retailer Rohan has attracted huge interest from prospective franchise owners since its announcement in January and the company now reports its first two foundational franchises have been signed. The company, which has 40 company-owned stores operating across the UK, is looking to expand its national footprint with 30 new locations through franchising over the next three years. " Having been excited and enticed by the franchise offering, both these new franchise owners are already experiencing the full weight and support of the Rohan New Stores Development Team to help them get their stores open as quickly as possible," reveals Retail Director Ian Palmer. The New Stores Development Team, which Ian heads, has been put in place to ensure that Rohan meets its extensive support commitment as part of the package offered to franchise owners.

" My role has been to create the franchise package and co-ordinate all departments within Rohan to provide a top quality franchise offering to prospective franchise owners," Ian explains.

" Once someone has shown an initial interest I invite them to a meeting at our head office in Milton Keynes, where I introduce them to key personnel such as Colin Fisher our Executive Chairman, Tim Jasper our Brand Director (who has been designing Rohan products for over 15 years), John Rigby our Warehouse Manager and many more. At this meeting we discuss financial projections, potential locations, the candidate's own individual personal circumstances and the support they will receive to open a Rohan franchise. The purpose of the meeting is not to talk people into signing on the day - my goal is to provide everything they need to go away, reflect, create business plans and decide whether this is suitable for them. I am fully aware opening a franchise store can be a life-changing decision for people and know that this is not a decision to be made impulsively. Once someone has agreed to go ahead with us, I pass them on to New Store Opening Manager Samantha Wheeler, who is responsible for helping them find a suitable store and to get it open."

The second member of the New Stores Development Team, Samantha has been with Rohan for over 12 years and is responsible for finding and opening more than 10 Rohan stores. Sam has created a store opening process that combines her experience and knowledge of Rohan and its customer database, along with a detailed opening criteria. " Ian introduces me to a new franchise owner and my first role is to welcome them to Rohan and arrange a visit to their chosen location," she reveals. " The first responsibility is to help them find a suitable shop within their chosen location. Without a shop unit, there is no business so this part is critical. I have created a store opening criteria based on an assessment of all our stores and their varying success levels.

" What we are looking for is a unit that is about 1,000-1,200sqft and will keep the franchise owner's re-fit and shop fit costs to a minimum.

" The goal of our franchise offering is to create a low entry cost opportunity, this is at the forefront of my mind when we look at shop units as we are fully aware that shop fit costs can very easily get out of hand. Once we have found a unit, Ian helps with the lease negotiations. Throughout this process I will introduce the franchise owner to other members of the Rohan team who they'll come into contact with on an operational basis. One of those will be their designated Area Manager, such as David Alleston who supports our Midlands region." Rohan has three Area Managers whose roles are to maximise the stores' sales opportunity and maintain standards consistent with the Rohan brand across all stores in their regions.

"To support the new franchise owners my first goal is to train them to run a store," reports David." This is delivered at our head office and at one of our existing stores for the hands-on elements. A franchise owner spends two weeks progressing through this training process, coming out of it capable of running the administration and sales sides of a Rohan store. As we get nearer to opening I assist in the recruitment and training of the franchise owner's sales team. The goal is for the franchise owner to manage the store, at least for the first year or so, however they will also need further staff depending on opening hours and store size. I will be with the franchise owner every step of the way to get the store open, including working with them on the shop floor the day they open to make sure everything goes smoothly. From then my role is to ensure the franchise owner is happy and comfortable in the daily running of the store."

Rohan highlights five core components of its franchise offering. Its franchise package has been developed to offer:

  • A really low cost entry;
  • Support and guidance in finding a suitable location and getting that location open in the shortest possible time;
  • Industry-leading logistic support - Rohan owns a 25,000sq ft warehouse that consistently offers the highest levels of restocking support;
  • A launch programme to get the store off to a good start;
  • On-going support from Rohan's area management team when trading starts.

" Rohan is seeking to grow the size of its business and franchising is proving an excellent route to achieve that growth and share it with other people," remarks Ian. " The attraction of our franchise proposition is the ease with which it seems possible to take on a retail store. What happens after the decision to go ahead is made is that our new franchise owners realise just how much support we have to offer. Samantha and David are the co-ordinators of that support, behind them is a team of 50 people in our head office and warehouse, a lot of who have over 10 years of experience of opening Rohan stores. We are good at this and we now share that experience and skill with our new franchise owners."

Franchise Package includes:

  • Site selection, including criteria, liaison on options and lease negotiation assistance.
  • Two week training programme, covers all aspects of operational method through classroom training and in-store familiarisation.
  • Launch programme tailored to the retail outlet, comprising local press advertising, voucher mailing to Rohan database, open day with hospitality and hands-on help and advice from the Area Manager.
  • £500 allowance toward personal corporate dress.
  • Licence to use Rohan's bespoke IT system.
  • Premises project management, including internal designs, shop refurbishment, initial stock display, staff interviews and appointments.
  • Loan of the Rohan Operations Manual, covers the highly valuable know-how and expertise relating to the complete Rohan business method, documented in a comprehensive and attractive manual.
  • Licensing right to trade under the Rohan corporate identity and enjoy full back-up and support.

Initial Investment Requirement

Total Franchise Package Content: £19,750
Total investment including the franchise package ranges between £35,000 and £50,000. This incorporates additional expenditure covering external signage, internal shop and working capital as per personalised business plan.