Hudsons Coffee franchise has the right blend for success in 2009
Major retail franchise Hudsons Coffee is positioning itself for 30 percent growth this year; with plans to open 15 new stores nationwide. The growth rate is consistent with the 10 year-old business’ success in recent years and comes despite worldwide preoccupation with the global financial crisis and its impact on retail spending.
To Hudsons Coffee co-founder Mark Hawthorne the “R” word stands for responsible growth, not recession.
“We are continually pushing for responsible growth; this is part of our franchise success,” Hawthorne says. “To Hudsons Coffee, it’s not just about getting stores open; each store must satisfy strict criteria and each franchisee is matched to that store. It must be the right person and the right site or else we won’t go ahead,” he explains.
Just like a good coffee, ensuring the right mix is integral to success for Hudsons Coffee. Together with former business partner Rosslyn Turner, Hawthorne took the business concept from overseas and refined it in Australia.
“We saw the emergence of the coffee culture in Europe and America and thought ‘this coffee thing is going to be big’,” he says. “We simply applied it in an Australian context and set ourselves up as coffee specialists; no one was doing this in Australia at the time.
“We targeted the time-poor executive with an educated palate who sought a great coffee.”
The approach worked. With a reputation for quality coffee established, the pair used their brand credibility to establish the franchise model.
Site selection is key
Now with 52 stores nationally, Hawthorne sees the Hudsons Coffee proposition as positioning franchisees in some of the best possible retail locations, such as high profile hospitals, with a sought-after product and an unmatched support network.
“Profit before finance for our franchisees in their first 12 months of trade has run at an average of 20 per cent of sales, but in order to optimise their business, franchisees must follow the system. It must be the right site, the right person and their ability to perform the job that will make it a business success,” Hawthorne insists.
“Our success can be credited to our real estate decisions. If the site isn’t right and if the rent-to-sales ratio isn’t right, we simply won’t go there. We choose sites where we and our franchisees can actually make money,” he adds.
According to Hawthorne, franchisee faith in the real estate selection process has seen a rise in the number of approaches about multiple site ownership opportunities.
“Our franchisees are passionate and hands-on as well as being hardworking individuals. When we are approached about multiple opportunities, both partners are involved in the business with husbands and wives sharing themselves very successfully across stores,” he reveals.
“This has enabled us to help grow our brand. Usually we earmark a site then seek a suitable franchisee; someone who will become the face of Hudsons Coffee in the area.
“This is always where their investment pays off. If they are prepared to invest themselves and bring their unique and winning personalities to the brand, they will end up with a successful business.”
Company name: Hudsons Coffee
Contact: Chloe Gibb
Phone: (03) 9361 0205