Franchising Today - Summer 2016 - 51
THE HUNTINGTON CO.
Huntington also offers bizziebox, a locker-based system
where customers can drop their items in a locker, place an
order online or use the bizziebox app, receive a text and
email when the order is complete and pick it up from the
locker. On-demand service will launch with Martinizing
this year, and bizziebox has commitments to launch in 60
cities through Martinizing franchise locations.
"We are very good at the retail experience and understanding certain customers who like that and want
to deal with the customer service experience," Wudyka adds. "There are some customers who would prefer
home or office delivery and that's a whole segment
we cater to. There is another group of customers who
like the locker to bring their clothes into work because
they can access it when they want. The on-demand
customer is simply on-demand and a different buyer
CRDN, Huntington's textile restoration brand, has
been active for 24 years, including the past 14 years as a
franchise. Through insurance carriers it connects with
homeowners who have had property loss or damage.
The brand is a B2B model and has developed service level agreements with 40 insurance companies. "About 40
percent of our work comes right into the franchisees in
those territories," Wudyka adds. "It's a huge benefit to
have locked-in work the day you open, and because of
that, we have higher franchisee loyalty."
As for its Martinizing franchises, Huntington courts
existing, high-quality, top-of-the-market dry cleaners
along with business-minded entrepreneurs looking to
become a dry cleaning operator. Each franchisee has
an exclusive one-mile territory, as well as the rights to
the company's technology, trademark and national accounts. "It's as much about us identifying the right franchisee and looking for the right fit as it is for them," Wudyka says. "We have turned down as many franchisees as
we've accepted. It takes the right mindset and approach
to be successful."
Martinizing is seeing a number of independent dry
cleaners convert to the brand to gain access to solutions
such as the on-demand and locker-based services. "We
have 62 percent recognition, lead in on-demand services
and have excellent marketing and tech support in the
field, which they can't get as independents," Wudyka explains. "We solve a lot of issues for them they can't solve
on their own."
Huntington, and Wudyka specifically, are very handson during each franchisee approval process. The company handles every aspect of a conversion to its Martinizing
brand, as well as a new start-up. It chooses the site, helps
acquire the real estate, participates in the launch and is
present on opening day. Martinizing franchisees are free
to open as many locker locations or provide on-demand
service anywhere they want.
Once a franchise is established, The Huntington Co. remains hands-on by visiting the site often and inviting its
franchisee partners to annual company gatherings. "We
do a lot to try and get them together and are very handson and high on communication," Wudyka says. "We provide weekly updates on every brand, highlight what's new,
operators' successes and new features to come."
Moving forward, The Huntington Co. plans to maintain its position as a leader in the industry by opening
new locations and diversifying its services. "Equity is
very strong in our network and our mantra is to be viewed
as an asset and not a liability," Wudyka notes.