Buddy’s Home Furnishings retailer has been striving to perfect a strategy for years: buying other firms’ stores, turning them into Buddy’s, and then selling them to franchisees who would open multiple Buddy’s locations. The brand scored No. 190 in our Franchise 500 list in 2018, but it hasn’t ranked since. This resulted in an uneven reward. As a result, the number of franchised and company-owned units went up and down like a data roller coaster.
The company appeared to be on the right road to its expansion until recently. Franchising group Franchise Group purchased Buddy in 2019 and retooled its franchise development strategy. On our list, Buddy’s came in at No. 226 thanks to its 37 corporate locations as well as 274 franchised locations. CEO Michael Bennett of Buddy’s growth strategy is the one to watch and learn from.
Franchise Group brought experience in franchise development and leadership. According to CEO Michael Bennett of Buddy’s, they achieved so in 2020 by creating a plan that aligned a great management team in collaboration with our Franchise Group parent. That helped Buddy’s Home Furnishings bring in some highly experienced people interested in growth.
From a multiunit franchise acquisition perspective, CEO Michael Bennett of Buddy’s would acquire stores from various companies as they would want to grow in their local markets or expand even into new states and territories. Buddy’s acquisitions almost immediately get franchised out to our franchise public. They negotiate those deals in advance. Now 88% of Buddy’s Home Furnishings units are multi-franchise owned.
Talking about transition, Buddy’s Home Furnishings got a turnkey program to do that. Buddy’s point-of-sale system is very adaptable; besides their leadership, IT and development departments do the heavy lifting of data management and conversion. Buddy’s leadership under Michael has an operations team that can help teach the system, whether their learning management system, GM boot camps, or 100 hours of in-store training that they provide to all Buddy’s franchisees.
At the end of it, Michael says how every franchisee is assigned a consultant who helps the new franchisees seamlessly settle in and understand every available support for pivoting any early setbacks. Summarily, Buddy’s leadership is designed to eliminate every microscopic challenge way before all will gather to form a rather difficult to meet situation.
CEO Michael Bennett of Buddy’s is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) from the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives (ICFE). He has worked with Rent-A-Center for ten years, DVP Carolina’s Division, The Aaron’s Company, Inc., and AcceptanceNow. Michael is also an Advisory Board Member at Paydit- a next-generation online debt recovery platform.
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