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Secretive franchise coffee giant and Franchise Council of Australia award winner, Gloria Jean’s is in for a big showdown with a small US supplier. With controversial links to an often damned religious network, Gloria Jean’s is seemingly used to protection from above and from behind closed doors.
A lot of information people have been trying to find out for so long about this business may finally be revealed in this case. Ross Koffel, lawyer for Western Export Services
Western Export Services has accused the Australian franchisor of breaking a joint venture agreement. Western is suing Jireh International, GJ’s parent company, for $56 million in unpaid commissions and damages. The small US supplier is taking on Gloria Jeans with over 900 franchise locations, an annual turnover estimated at $500M. And of course, there is that protection from above.
Gloria Jean’s is owned and run by the Hillsong Church elder Nabi Saleh and the high-profile church member Peter Irvine.
In December, the former chief executive of Mercy Ministries, along with his fellow directors, admitted to engaging in false, misleading and deceptive conduct as part of an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigation into the practices of the Hillsong-connected organisation.
The full scope of the Gloria Jean’s phenomenon may not be misunderstood by Western;
Gloria Jean's performance in Australia has been nothing short of divine. Since Irvine and Saleh went to the US and secured the Australian rights for the business in 1996, the chain has grown to 200 stores, employing 3500 people, which last year generated $85 million in revenue.
And Hillsong is not far behind. Last year it had total revenue of $33.5 million, but once things like administration and service expenses were deducted, it was left with a paltry $121,523.
Luckily the Hillsong Church, which has had big success from sales of its chart-topping CDs, is exempt from paying any tax. SMH 2004