Recently we sat down with Ciara Stockeland, President of MODE, to discuss her franchise and the the retail franchise industry in general.
Give us an overview of the your industry and why it's such a great industry to start a franchise in
MODE is a retail store but not your everyday retail store. MODE is a low price outlet store. Consumers today want to buy quality, designer fashion-forward product, but at discounted prices. That is why MODE has been so successful. We deliver the products people are looking for but we do so at deeply discounted pricing.
What sets MODE apart from others in the retail industry?
What sets MODE apart from flash sites or large outlet stores like Nordstrom, is that the consumer can buy designer goods at outlet prices but in a small boutique environment, with an organized selection and stellar customer service.
What is the biggest concern about your industry that a franchisee candidate should be aware of and investigate?
The biggest question we receive is "will you always be able to secure product for our MODE store". The answer to this is YES! Designers are always overcutting and over producing. There are always canceled orders that we can take advantage of. We have strong relationships with designers and vendors, so we receive a constant supply of overstock items that we pass onto our MODE franchisees for amazing pricing.
Why do you think your company stands out in the retail industry?
MODE not only offer what the consumer now wants (designer goods at outlet pricing) but we do so in a clean, organized atmosphere and we offer these products with the customer service you would expect in a full price, high end boutique. When a consumer comes into MODE they do not have to dig to find a deal or sift through racks to find sizing.
What makes MODE more attractive than your competitor's?
There is nothing like MODE in the market place. There are no other franchises and no other company-owned businesses like MODE out there. We are more attractive than our competitors' retail business models because we offer the same product they do BUT we make it accessible to the masses by offering it at prices the average consumer can afford and enjoy.
Describe the ideal candidate. Do you think your requirements are any different than your competitor's?
We are looking for franchisees that are willing to be in their store and work daily with their customers. We strongly believe that owner operators are very important to the success of our MODE Franchises. We are looking for people who can lead by example. Someone who is willing to think outside the box and is willing to hit the ground running.
What's the strongest skill you require in a candidate?
We are looking for candidates who can sell the MODE concept to their community and sell the MODE products to each consumer that walks through their door.
Why has MODE been successful?
MODE has been successful because we have an amazing concept and a team that is willing to work hard, supports each Franchisee, and lead by example.
What advice would you give someone interested in buying a franchise in your industry?
Consider trends and the state of the economy
How much experience in this industry should a franchisee candidate have should they consider buying a franchise in your industry?
We do not require candidates to have retail experience. We only require candidates to have an attitude of tenacity and willingness to work in their store and side by side with their employees. A willingness to learn and an eagerness to sell MODE will make you winner.