Franchising has been part of the company’s master plan since its inception in 2005 but McKevitt notes that “the extent to which we’re franchising is quite a big change”.
The banks initially agreed to fund a new Tossed site but McKevitt says when he went to draw down the cash, the line of credit was no longer available. “It was literally a couple of days after the Northern Rock debacle,” he says.
“During times of economic slowdown, franchising can be quite good. Franchising is all about growing on other people’s money. The franchisees basically pay for the set up. Most of these people are homeowners so they can get access to funds quite easily. After they’re set up, they pay us a royalty.”
There are currently three Tossed sites around London but McKevitt is close to opening a store in Harrods and then another near Baker Street. McKevitt has also agreed to heads of terms to go into the new Westfield Mall that’s under development in Shepherd’s Bush.
“We’re recruiting two more franchisees based in London and now we need to find more sites,” McKevitt says. “There will be some good retail deals coming up in the slowdown so we’ll be taking advantage of those. Next year we’re going hell-for-leather in franchising.”
Tossed is advertising on franchise sites to find new franchisees but McKevitt adds: “Anyone who wants a franchise, email me!”
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