May 21, 2010 // Franchising.com // WILMINGTON, N.C. – Flip Flop Shops is exposing its toes in Wilmington. The only lifestyle retail franchise to capture the essence of the flip flop connoisseur way of life, Flip Flop Shops recently opened its first local shop at 3500 Oleander Drive, Unit D24 in Independence Mall.
"Flip flops have evolved into a premium lifestyle necessity, and Flip Flop Shops was created to fill the void in the retail industry," said Laney Pierce (Size 9), who co-owns and operates the shop with her husband, Craig (Size 12). "We offer local consumers an opportunity to indulge in all the hottest brands and latest styles at their leisure, with expert product knowledge right at their finger tips. We make finding the perfect flip flop a cinch!"
In addition to the Wilmington location, company plans call for significant expansion of this one-of-a-kind, laidback brand throughout the coastal regions of North and South Carolina during the next five years. Already, the Pierces are slated to open a second Flip Flops Shop in Myrtle Beach, S.C. in spring 2011. Plus, another husband and wife team from the Charlotte area plan to open two locations, with the first shop this summer at Carolina Place Mall in Pineville and the second shop in late 2010 in South Charlotte.
Once reserved only for poolside or beachwear, 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. Flip Flop Shops' mission is to provide the opportunity for anyone, in any climate, to "Live…Work …Play With Their Toes Exposed®" while wearing the freedom of flip flops on their feet. The shops carry the hottest brands of flip flops and sandals – such as REEF, Sanuk, Flojos, VANS, Havaianas, OluKai, Rainbow, Cobian and O'NEILL, among others – and retail between $20 to over $100.
The Wilmington opening is part of a well-managed national growth strategy calling for 236 locations to open in select markets nationwide by 2013. With 14 shops currently operating and more than 40 in development, the company is also targeting, among others, Atlanta, New York City, Orlando, Tampa, Houston and the Pacific Northwest for expansion.
"There are droves of people just as passionate about freeing their toes as Flip Flop Shops," Laney added. "Our flip flops are an extension of who we are and what we stand for. We live, work and play with our toes exposed while wearing the freedom of flip flops on our feet."
Even the smell and sound of each shop 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," Laney said.
Founded in 2004, Flip Flop Shops is North America's first retail chain exclusive to the hottest brands and latest styles of flip flops and sandals from big names such as REEF, Sanuk, Flojos, VANS, Havaianas, Olukai, Rainbow, Cobian and O'NEILL. 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 14 shops currently operating and 40 more in development, the company plans to open 236 shops by 2013.