October 01, 2008 // Franchising.com // Vancouver, BC – Team 1040 Sports Radio show host Scott Rintoul has the ear of Vancouver area residents each morning. Now he plans to expose their toes as well.
On the heels of Flip Flop Shops' recent announcement to open five stores in the next five years throughout Vancouver, Scott and wife Fiona have signed on to open the first Canadian Flip Flop Shops on West 4th Avenue near Burrard in the city. Flip Flop Shops, the only lifestyle retail franchise to capture the essence of the flip flop connoisseur way of life, is targeted to open in March.
"Vancouver is such an active community and flip flops symbolize an active lifestyle. Whether you're going to the beach, the pool, the office or just out for a stroll around the city, there's flip flops for every occasion. They've really become a way of life," said Scott Rintoul (size 8).
"Flip Flops are very well suited to the West Coast lifestyle – laid back and casual," added Fiona Rintoul, a Vancouver native (size 7). "People work hard here, but they enjoy their out-of-work, leisure time."
Flip Flop Shops is the first retail chain to exclusively sell the hottest brands and latest styles of flip flops and sandals. The Vancouver expansion announcement is part of a well-managed provincial growth strategy anchored behind the strength and experience of an "All Star" team of executives and investors.
The force that helped market Cold Stone Creamery to the masses, the executive leadership at Flip Flop Shops is working with CEO Chris Zimmerman of the Vancouver Canucks and CEO Peter Blake of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers to promote the flip flop lifestyle and culture across British Columbia. Zimmerman will also serve as an advisor to the Flip Flop Shops executive team.
Company plans call for a total of 12 locations throughout British Columbia.
"Flip flops have evolved into a premium lifestyle necessity and Flip Flop Shops is on the leading edge, recognizing the demand and taking this booming specialty retail sector mainstream," said Brian Curin (size 10), Vancouver resident and President of Flip Flop Shops. "I am excited and proud to bring the concept home and lead the charge in freeing the toes of this great city."
The company's mission is to provide the opportunity for anyone, in any climate, to "live, work and play with their toes exposed™" while wearing the freedom of flip flops on their feet. Flip flops have grown to become the "global youth uniform", as well as accepted footwear for anyone ranging from surfers to high-level corporate executives. Indeed, flip flop sales exceeded those of athletic shoes for the first time in 2006, and flip flop fever has continued to build momentum ever since.
Even the smell and sound of each store captures the Flip Flop Shops laid-back yet adventurous character. Approaching from 15 feet away, coconut suntan oil scent and active lifestyle inspired music begins to tickle the senses and excite the toes of likely customers. "No matter the weather, no matter the season, you will always find the "Free Your Toes™" state-of-mind in every Flip Flop Shops," Curin said.
The first Flip Flop Shops store was opened in September 2004 by retail consultants and entrepreneurial spirits, Todd Giatrelis (size 11) and Sarah Towne (size 9). In January 2008, Flip Flops Shops began franchising under the leadership of Darin Kraetsch (size 10), Alan Woods (size 11) and Brian Curin (size 10).
The company is looking to award franchises to people who share the flip flop passion and attitude. People that embody the Free Your Toes lifestyle, love the water, whether it's surfing with friends, or standing on a peaceful shore. They love music, adventure and traveling. They ride powder in the mountains, bike through backcountry trails and raft down whitewater rapids.
These people have their own style and keep up on the latest fashion trends.
They take care of the environment and help out their favorite charities.
"We were attracted to Flip Flops because of the great people involved with the brand," Scott said. "When you see what they have been able to accomplish in such a short time, you see that it's an excellent franchise to get involved with."
Founded in September 2004, Flip Flop Shops is the nation's first retail chain exclusive to flip flops and sandals. The company began franchising in January 2008. Flip Flop Shops is an Environmentally Responsible Retailer and encourages the nation to free their toes. The executive team boasts more than 50 years of franchise experience building and growing some of the world's fastest-growing franchise concepts, category leaders and some of America's most well-known brands, including Cold Stone Creamery, Moe's Southwest Grill and Nike. With five locations currently operating and 15 in development, the company plans to franchise 236 stores by 2013. For more franchise opportunity information, visit http://www.flipflopshops.com/.