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Specialty retail 2012-02-02

Mouthful of sugary franchise

By Namita Bhagat Feature Writer

With over 21 years of franchising experience, Candy Bouquet is seeking expansion in India. In an interview, Margaret McEntire, Founder, Candy Bouquet International, shares the brand’s further growth plans.

Namita Bhagat (NB): Brief us on the origin and concept of Candy Bouquet International? What is the USP of the brand?

Margaret McEntire (MM): Candy Bouquet International was founded in 1989 in USA. This concept was developed over time and has worked very well, worldwide. The franchisees sell floral-like designer gifts and gourmet confections in their markets. The general markup of the product is 350 per cent. The franchisees are also allowed to use local candies and chocolates. We currently, have female franchisees in every continent.

NB: How many locations do you have currently? Are you looking for expansion in India?

MM: We have over 500 stores worldwide and would love to expand into India.

NB: What is the franchise model for your brand in India?

MM: The model would preferably be a Master Franchise for India. With a master, we would have a reduced price and the franchisor and the franchisee would split the profits. The master franchisee would put in a model store and train in India, making it much easier for your market.

NB:  What is the capital and area requirement to partner with you as a franchisee?

MM: The requirements are structured by population and economic conditions. The franchise fee is structured by the amount of population and where it is located. This concept can easily be managed via home based structure, a kiosk and a shop in the malls. Our trainer has an 8,000 sq. ft shop that is stand alone.

NB: Have you customised the concept for India? What challenges are anticipated in this market?

MM: Being the first franchisee myself, the development was the hardest part of the business.  This is a proven system now that is already in place and can easily be customised for the Indian market. I do not see any real challenges. People love sweets and chocolates worldwide!

NB: What are the qualifications for a franchisee to partner with your brand? What kind of marketing and support do you provide?

MM: The franchise candidate would submit an application and we would require some financial information and information about the prospective franchisees background as well. We teach the marketing and have a franchise centre online with marketing. We do not charge, though, for an advertising fund.

NB:  Could you share break even period –ROI facts for the franchise?

MM: Each franchisee pays a flat association fee and we do not bother their books.  The Small Business Administration says that most businesses will break even in five years

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