July 16, 2009 // Franchising.com // Carmel, IN – Though the newest Wild Birds Unlimited (WBU) franchise store owners value the recommendations and support given by the franchisor, they're enjoying their autonomy and being in charge of their careers despite these difficult economic times.
Joe and Sharon Kaestner's store in Huntersville, North Carolina has been open for eight months, and David Covey and Mary Anne Kenefic's store in Mesa, Arizona has been open since March of 2009. Both stores are meeting goals developed by the individual owners and trending ahead of system averages for new stores.
"At the time we started down the path of owning a WBU franchise the economy was still pretty good," said Joe Kaestner, co-owner of the Huntersville store. "The big down-turn happened in September 2008, less than one month before we opened our doors. By that time we were fully committed, so we kept going and decided to act as if the economy would rebound soon. We decided to approach our first year as if we were a two or three year old store and set our monthly goals accordingly. So far, we are right on track," added Kaestner.
The Mesa store owners were not as far along in the process and had to makes some key decisions about opening a business during the recession.
"Everything had to be looked at even more seriously than before these tough times," said Covey, co-owner of the Mesa store. "Our location had to be in a shopping mall with other successful businesses. And if one had not been found, we would not have proceeded with development and waited for the economy to improve. We couldn't afford a second rate location," added Covey.
Both stores' owners attribute success to customer response. Many customers were familiar with the brand and extremely loyal.
"Wild Birds Unlimited customers are the best. I'm new at this business, but we continue to meet happy and excited bird feeders! I still can't get over the brand recognition we have and the loyal customer base," added Covey.
Wild Birds Unlimited is the original and largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores with more than 275 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Wild Birds Unlimited specializes in bringing people and nature together with bird feeding and nature products, expert advice and educational events.