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Monthly Archives: January 2018

clothing boutique franchise opportunities

What Makes Apricot Lane Stand Out from Other Clothing Boutique Franchise Opportunities?

If you’re considering entering the franchise space with a clothing franchise, you’ve probably considered several options. The fashion industry is booming, and there is no shortage of retail franchises to choose from. Apricot Lane, however, is unique in its mission to bring the hottest new styles and trends to shelves immediately. We’ve identified a gap in the fashion industry, and have capitalized on it for 23 years. Nowadays, consumers want the trendiest runway styles the moment they see them on TV, and they don’t want to pay the hefty price tags luxury brands are famous for. That’s where we come in. There might be many clothing boutique franchise opportunities to choose from, but Apricot Lane is unique in our mission to empower our customers through the newest, most cutting-edge styles, and our commitment to offer them convenience and affordably.

Clothing Boutique Franchise Opportunities: A Seasoned Brand

What really sets Apricot Lane apart is our track record of excellence. For 23 years, we have had immense success in the fast fashion space. Every year from 2009 to 2017 we have been ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of top 500 franchises, and have continued to perfect our franchise model since our inception. New franchisees should expect a clear, informative training process, and to open their doors with the backing of an extensive support system.

The Rise of Fast Fashion

One of our distinct advantages over other clothing boutique franchise opportunities is our commitment to the fast fashion space. More traditional fashion retail brands, particularly high-end luxury brands, have recently been on the decline due to their inability to provide the latest trends at an affordable price. Consumers want the hottest clothes as soon as they appear on the runway, so it’s no surprise that the fast fashion industry has grown 21% over the past three years, and is expected to grow an additional 5.91% per year for the next three. If you’re looking for a profitable niche within the fashion industry, the explosion of fast fashion makes Apricot Lane the ideal clothing boutique franchise opportunity.

The Micro-Season Model

Gone are the days of the four-season model. While Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall lines have been industry standard for many years, recent trends have shown that consumers don’t necessarily want to wait a whole quarter for the newest style. Our “micro-season” model operates under the assumption that there is no offseason. Customers want the hottest trends right away, within two weeks of their release by the designer. With our ever-rotating selection of new apparel, there is always a reason to buy, to keep visiting the store for new styles, and stay up-to-date. And since limited stock available for each run, customers know it’s only a matter of time before their favorite piece is gone.

If you identify with our mission, and are excited by the opportunities that exist in the fast fashion space, launch your career with Apricot Lane today.

  • January 26, 2018
  • Blog
Apricot Lane clothing boutique franchise

How to Leave Your Corporate Job for an Apricot Lane Boutique Franchise

Deciding to work for yourself is one of the biggest career pivots you can make. It’s not always easy, but a good franchisor makes the transition as smooth as possible. Because a franchise is a turnkey investment with a proven business model, built-in brand awareness, and come with a support and training infrastructure, starting your own franchise is an attractive draw for many trapped in a corporate career. We understand that sometimes the process can seem daunting, so Apricot Lane makes it as simple as possible to start your own clothing boutique franchise. We’ve designed an easy-to-follow, step-by-step process to guide prospective franchisees through the transitional stages.

Information Gathering

Before entering into a partnership with new franchisees, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to make the decision. We’ll set up an introductory call between you and our Franchise Development Ambassador, who will break down the investment costs, give you a general overview of how our stores operate, what training and support resources will be available to you, and answer any questions you have. Especially if you’re taking the leap from a corporate job with familiar infrastructure and operations to the relatively new territory of clothing boutique franchising, you should have as clear an idea as possible of the road ahead.

After the introductory call, we will follow up with a series of informational emails to supplement the conversation. These cover a variety of topics instrumental to your understanding of the fast fashion industry, and how we operate here at Apricot Lane. Some topics include training, location selection, bookkeeping, hiring procedures, visual merchandising, ongoing field support, continuing education (such as our annual conference and webinars), our in-house marketing support, and more.

Apricot Lane Clothing Boutique Franchise Training

Even if you’ve worked in the fashion industry before, you might be concerned that you lack the experience to open your own clothing boutique franchise. Luckily, Apricot Lane has an extensive training program in place to ensure that our franchisees are confident and ready to open their doors on day one. To start, we offer 40 hours of virtual home training, including a crash course in our inventory management software, and quizzes to reinforce your learnings. We also offer classroom training at our headquarters in the Sacramento Valley, which covers store management, customer service, marketing and inventory management, and a field trip to the LA fashion district. Once you’ve established a location and are preparing for opening day, we offer on-location training where our team will assist you with displays, sales systems, and staff training at your store location.

But don’t think the training ends with opening day! For the first 120 days your boutique is open to the public, we will track your operations, make check-ins, and provide ongoing assistance. And remember—support is just a phone call away!

We understand that jumping from a corporate job to a clothing boutique franchise can be a daunting prospect. However, through our franchisee education materials, and our comprehensive training program, our franchisees can open their doors with the confidence and preparedness they need to grow their business.

To take the plunge into franchise ownership with an Apricot Lane clothing boutique franchise, get in touch with us today.

  • January 19, 2018
  • Blog
Apricot Lane Boutique

4 Qualities we Look for in an Apricot Lane Boutique Franchisee

Franchising might be more easily-accessible to newcomers than starting a brand new business from scratch, but that doesn’t mean just anyone can do it. While prior experience in the fast fashion industry isn’t necessary to run a successful Apricot Lane boutique, there are certainly personal qualities that we look for in potential franchisees. To get the most out of your Apricot Lane boutique franchise, and have the highest chance of growing your business, you should be able to appreciate and follow our proven business model, have a real passion for fashion, be an excellent communicator, and have an eagerness to stay abreast of industry trends and styles.

Commitment to Following a Proven System

The best thing about starting your own Apricot Lane boutique—and not opening a retail store from scratch—is that you’ll benefit from our proven business model. This includes a training system, location scouting, hiring assistance, marketing materials, and a set of procedures designed to assist you once your doors open. A great deal of time and testing has gone into constructing these helpful support materials, and it’s important that licensees appreciate and follow them.

Passion for the Apricot Lane Boutique Business

It’s important to us that our franchisees share our unique passion for fashion. Not only should you have a keen eye for style, but you should also have an enthusiasm for keeping track of the latest fashion trends, runway looks, and conceptualizing how they could be displayed in your store. One of our chief goals at Apricot Lane is empowering women to look their best and feel beautiful when they leave our stores. This should be a mission that excites you too, and it should be a motivating force behind the day-to-day operation of your franchise.

Communication

With any new business, but especially a franchise, it’s essential to develop a strong rapport with customers, employees, vendors, and your community. Communicating your vision to employees, as well as procedures, is crucial to a smoothly-functioning franchise. Customer loyalty is paramount to your success, so dialogues and relationships with customers should also come easily to you. In the long run, this will help you run your Apricot Lane boutique.

Eagerness to Learn

It’s important that our franchisees not only follow our blueprint for running a franchise, but also take responsibility for staying abreast of new trends and styles. As a player in the fast fashion industry, you’ll have to be on top of the latest styles, and always keep a keen eye out for fashion trends that you’d like to feature in your Apricot Lane boutique. It’s also essential to seek help where needed. We offer bookkeeping services, in-house marketing support, staffing assistance, and more. We don’t expect our franchisees to have all the answers, but we do expect them to take initiative, and utilize our support infrastructure.

If you think you have what it takes to open an Apricot Lane boutique franchise, get in touch with us today to learn more about the opportunity.

  • January 12, 2018
  • Blog
start an Apricot Lane franchise

Opening an Apricot Lane Franchise vs. Starting Your Own Clothing Business from Scratch

Entrepreneurs are notoriously fiercely independent and relish the idea of building a business from scratch. However, many prospective independent business owners soon realize that starting from square one isn’t as easy as it sounds. While starting a business from scratch is no doubt rewarding, there are many distinct benefits to franchising. An entrepreneur opening a new business in our industry would have to consider a lofty, undefined investment cost, a lack of connections and support, and the difficult task of formulating a new business model. When you start an Apricot Lane franchise, these obstacles have already been assessed by our experts, and we give you all the tools you need to deal with them.

An Existing Business Model

When you invest in an Apricot Lane franchise, you are investing in a well-established business model. Unlike drawing up your own idea and drafting an untested business plan, you won’t have to worry about your concept being financially viable, or the difficulties of finding a market for your services. The team at Apricot Lane has already identified the obstacles you’re likely to face, and will work with you to make sure your franchise is in the best possible shape before opening for business.

System of Support

It’s easier than you might expect for someone with little to no experience in franchising or business-ownership to adjust to owning a franchise. While we do expect our franchisees to have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, a desire to learn, and a passion for the business, we provide Apricot Lane franchisees with marketing materials, location scouting, and a support team. This support helps to ensure that can avoid the pitfalls of opening a new business and hit the ground running.

Clear-Cut Investment Requirements

When you invest in one of our franchises, you will have a clear, upfront idea of exactly how much you’re spending. Franchise fees and royalty payments should always be readily available on the franchisor’s website, as well as the benefits your investment will yield. Those starting brand new businesses, however, find estimating costs more difficult.

Less Risk When Starting an Apricot Lane Franchise

We consider our Apricot Lane franchisees to be an extension of our family, and it’s in our best interest to do everything we can to help you grow your business. While it’s entirely possible to go into business for yourself and be successful, it’s important to realize that the risk is much greater, as new businesses lack a blueprint for growth, an existing customer base, and the benefits of training and support systems.

If you’re excited about making the smooth transition to franchise ownership with an Apricot Lane Franchise, get in touch with us today.

  • January 5, 2018
  • Blog

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