Franchising Today - Summer 2016 - 73
WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED
plans to expand OWL training to include courses on backroom operations in the future.
Carpenter says the key for a hobby store like Wild Birds
Unlimited is to create an energizing environment that fosters long-term customer relationships. When a store can
help the hobbyist enjoy his or her hobby more, that person
is more likely to become a regular shopper. Through OWL
and its focus on enterprise culture, Wild Birds Unlimited
teaches store owners how to create special time for their
customers. "Selling in our situation is selling to what gives
your customer joy instead of what gives the store owner
joy," Carpenter explains.
Wild Birds Unlimited hosts an annual convention called
the "Enterprise Leadership Conference." Even the event's
name ties into the company's vision for its culture. "It really
sets the stage," Carpenter says. "That's where we're going.
We're teaching you to be enterprise leaders of a company
that can grow and scale up so that everything is not on the
shoulders of the owner-operator." An enterprise company,
Carpenter says, creates greater profit for the owner and is
more valuable when the franchisees eventually decide to
sell since there is an experienced staff in place.
The company's philosophy continues to spread. Wild
Birds Unlimited opened five stores in March and is planning
10 more. Carpenter is targeting 80 to 100 new locations in
the next five to six years, mainly in large metropolitan areas
and mid-sized cities. "I just think there's so much growth
for every single store and the hobby itself," he says. "Our
No. 1 thing is to help same-store sales."
Wild Birds Unlimited's goal is to have
80 to 100 new locations in the next five
to six years.