Unfastening a new Franchise Opportunity

The Zip Yard is one of the most successful and fastest growing garments alteration franchises in the UK and Ireland. Our success has been built on the back of quality, speed, convenience and value – together with a network of hard-working franchise owners.

The market potential is huge and we expect all our centres to be profitable in the first year – and interestingly the clothing alteration business is not economy driven!

When times are good, more and more people buy new clothes that need altering to size. When times are less good, people get clothes altered or repaired to last a little longer. People no longer have the time nor the skills to tackle even the simplest of hems, let alone risk damaging a favourite or expensive garment.


At The Zip Yard we have taken a different approach to the garments alteration business. Our highly visible, strong, bold branding separates us from our competitors and helps us to dominate in the high street.

All our centres are finished to the highest of standards and include ‘state of the art’ machinery, computer systems and, in most cases, our seamstresses work in full view of the public so customers can see for themselves the high standards of workmanship.

The Zip Yard business model has been created, tested and developed to ensure you have the very best opportunity to be successful in the shortest period of time.

Your investment delivers a fully operational and fully supported business, with trained staff and comprehensive marketing from day one – plus all The Zip Yard centres are finished to a distinctive specification – customer friendly, highly branded and very visible.

Experience suggests that a unit of 600 to 750 sq.ft. will cost in the region of £15,000-£20,000* to fit out – and includes everything you will need to get started.

  • Industrial sewing machines
  • Blind hemmer
  • Over locker
  • Button holer
  • Ironing station
  • Electronic point of sale system
  • Bespoke till and software package
  • Computer
  • Shop fit out; external and internal signage,fitting room, counters, flooring, fixtures and fittings
  • Opening starting stock
  • Corporate branding
  • Launch programme

*exact cost will be determined by the size and standard of the premises.

What’s the total cost?

The franchise package includes shop fit, corporate branding, stock, computer, EPOS system, while the production equipment will be up to £20,000 (depending on scale of shop fit).

There is a one-off licence cost of £15,000 and a training and project management fee of £5,000, which includes two weeks of training, assistance with staff recruitment, project management of the shop fit and your marketing launch programme.

With bank funding of at least £25,000 available, your own investment for the business would be £15,000 or less.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for prospective franchise owners who will be dedicated, passionate, focused and hard working as we are. You do not need to be familiar with repairs or alterations and we’re not looking for tailors.

Successful franchise owners will be ambitious to run their own business, customer driven, well organised and keen to follow a proven business system.

Our business ethos is based on the principles of excellent and responsive customer service, speedy turn around, quality materials and staff loyalty augmented by efficient and proven business systems, marketing and promotional collateral and ongoing in-centre support from the whole Zip Yard team.

Total Cost: Approx. £35,000 to £40,000
Type: Retail

Juliet O’Connell, 30, launched her Zip Yard franchise on 30 November 2009 in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, and now employs three full-time tailors and one part-time front of house member of staff.

Originally from Cork, Juliet studied for a Degree in Business at Limerick University and then a Masters Degree in Software Design and Development before moving to Dubai for over two years, teaching at a primary school and continuing her travels.

“A friend from university had set up a Zip Yard franchise in Limerick and it was doing really well, which got me interested,” she explains. “Then one day I was walking to work in Dublin and a Zip Yard had just opened literally yards from my office. I thought: ‘That could have been mine’.”

Why The Zip Yard?

“I think the concept of The Zip Yard, repairing and re-styling clothes, is so compatible with the economic downturn. People have less disposable income, which makes them make the most of what they already have. For example, this month a lot of people are bringing in ill-fitting clothes that they bought as bargains in the January sales, for us to tailor or alter.

“The staff are all fully qualified tailors and dress-makers, and it’s amazing watching them work. They are so skilled at what they do."

What was the training like?

“The training was excellent and very hands-on. You work in an existing Zip Yard franchise, learning all the processes and systems so you understand every aspect of the business. Then when you’re ready to open your own shop, the training manager stays with you until you’re confident to manage alone.”

“The support continues long after you’ve set up and there’s always someone available to offer advice and help if you need it. It’s also very helpful having a whole network of franchise owners to talk to and share ideas with.”

How is the business going?

“It’s a big success and we’ve exceeded all our projections. Our turnover has grown every month since we opened and we have more staff than we expected.

“I love being the decision maker and I get excited about the potential the business has to grow. The staff are loyal and we have a great team. The customers are happy and we get lots of positive feedback, so I’m very motivated.

“Customers often send us photos of their weddings or special days, which we display on a digital photo frame in the shop.”

Would you recommend The Zip Yard to potential franchise owners?

“Absolutely. You have to be willing to put in a great deal of time and effort, especially at the beginning, but the rewards are well worth it. It’s a great business, a great franchise and a great fit for the economic climate we’re in.

“It’s good exposure having a high street presence and the brand has really grown. Everyone I meet has either used The Zip Yard or they’ve heard of it.”