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NEW ORLEANS – Private firm Smoothie King Franchises, Inc. declared last Tuesday that franchises under its brand saw a fourth consecutive year of same-store sales growth in 2013. The company stated same-store sales grew by 5 percent in 2013.
The franchising company said it sold 93 single-unit and 10 area development agreements, which is a record for the company. The statement did not say how many stores the chain lost nor where the numbers audited.
Founded over forty years ago in 1973, the newly sold New Orleans-based smoothie franchisor announced it expanded into five new locations in Singapore. The smoothie company announced that South Korea saw its largest international expansion, with 20 franchises in 2013, despite South Korea's new franchise investment protection law that was passed in 2012 and toughened more in 2013. It is arguably Asia's toughest franchise laws to date.
Domestically, Smoothie King's footprint expanded in Connecticut, one of the 41 new franchised locations and 10 corporate stores it says it opened last year.
"Smoothie King is outpacing other brands in our category in same-store sales and development. We've achieved tremendous growth over the past year and we have no plans of slowing down," said Smoothie King Global CEO Wan Kim, who re-energized the brand's growth after purchasing the company in 2012. "Our proven business model combined with our new, refreshed brand image and new store design, have jumpstarted Smoothie King's development. Our commitment to furthering our mission to inspire healthy and active lifestyles continues to drive our success."
Smoothie King hopes to open 160 new franchised locations in 2014 in cities such as Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Tallahassee and Washington D.C. According to franchise disclosure document researcher World Franchising, franchisor Smoothie King had only a single company store a few years ago. But now the new ownership says it plans to operate 25 corporate stores of its own in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio and South Florida.
Buyers of an average franchise unit in strip malls throughout the country need a total investment of $231,000, with a $25,000 upfront fee to be handed to the franchisor, according to World Franchising. Franchisees receive seven days of training on how to run their quick service restaurant. Royalty is 6 percent of sales and the advertising fee is one percent, although the brand does not have a national advertising campaign. Average store EBITDA profit margin is unknown.