Franchising Today - Summer 2016 - 52
APRICOT LANE BOUTIQUE
www.apricotlaneboutique.com / HQ: Vacaville, Calif. / Ken Petersen, founder and CEO:
"We want someone ... to use the store to be connected and give to the community."
Apricot Lane Boutique builds a strong network by fully supporting its franchisees,
who create a unique adventure and shopping experience. BY STEPHANIE CRETS
N C HISE
Apricot Lane helps franchisees with initial
inventory, but allows them to bring in their
own products and cater to their local base.
When picturing a fashion boutique storeowner, the first thought
that comes to mind usually isn't a
former fire captain, but that's exactly what Ken Petersen did before he
launched the first Apricot Lane Boutique. "I did what most firefighters do,
go from firefighting to women's fashion," he says, laughing.
The boutique began in 1991 as a gift
and collectibles shop - where it sold
items such as Precious Moments statues - and gradually evolved to selling
scarves, handbags and jewelry. The
stores grew to three locations, and Petersen saw how beneficial franchising
could be. He says there was a need in
the industry for fashion franchising
concepts, so he founded Apricot Lane
Boutique in 2007. Now, there are 79
Apricot Lane locations in 33 states.
"We're a unique boutique," Petersen says. "One, from a franchise perspective, we allow our franchisees to
buy their own products. We'll set up
their initial inventory and guide them,
but they're able to bring in their own
products catered to local customer
base. And two, we merchandise the
stores with latest fashion, jewelry and
handbags, all in the styles and trends
customers want and base that on
styles that fit a mom and daughter."
Apricot Lane is intended to be a
multi-generational store, catering to
both a mother and daughter's sense
of style rather than focusing solely on
one demographic. And Petersen says
the stores have been able to hit that
and the price point mark, where typically every item is $100 or less. "We're
hitting great quality at great prices,"