Flip Flop Shops Shines as 2010 ICSC Hot Retailer Award Winner

First retail chain exclusive to flip flops recognized as a worldwide leader in concept innovation

June 03, 2010 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA - Flip Flop Shops has turned up the heat on summer's sizzle with its prestigious recognition as one of the world's hottest retailers.

A recipient of this year's International Council of Shopping Centers' (ICSC) "Hot Retailer Award," Flip Flop Shops stands out among the world's retailers as one of the most innovative brands, driving consumers to shopping centers with a truly distinct shopping experience and exceptional product offering.

ICSC president and CEO Michael Kercheval commended the brand and its leadership team, Darin Kraetsch, the CEO (Size 10) of Flip Flop Shops, Brian Curin, the President (Size 10) of Flip Flop Shops, and Alan Woods the COO (Size 11) of Flip Flop Shops, who accepted the award at the recent 2010 ICSC Global Retail Real Estate Convention (RECon) in Las Vegas. He noted that Flip Flop Shops has "worked hard to create products and services that drive customers to shopping centers around the world."

"We are stoked about this recognition," said Curin, who joined Kraetsch on stage to receive the award from celebrity host Carson Kressley, of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame. "To be

labelled as one of the hottest concepts around the globe is an epic honor we take to heart and we'll make sure our brand continues to build a cult-like following and stays a driving force within the retail industry. "

Flip Flop Shops, North America's first retail chain exclusive to the hottest brands and latest styles of flip flops and sandals, has set itself apart among retailers with a unique consumer experience that goes beyond selecting from the hottest brands and latest styles of flip flops and sandals from such leading brands as REEF, Sanuk, Flojos, VANS, Havaianas, OluKai, Rainbow, Cobian and O'NEILL, among others. Even the smell and sound of each shop captures the Flip Flop Shops laid-back, yet adventurous personality. 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.

In addition, Flip Flop Shops incorporates many "green" elements into the 500- to 900-sqaure-foot shops, using low-energy lighting, bamboo cash wraps, water-based glues and water-based paints. Other sustainable elements - as well as noted points of interest - are Flip Flop Shops' all-natural cork flooring and display cabinets made from particle board.

"The award validates what we've created…a growing movement 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," said Kraetsch. "The retail world has taken notice and we're totally amped."

At a time when many retail chains are struggling to overcome shrinking consumer confidence and harsh economic pressures, Flip Flop Shops is defying the odds. It has grown its franchise system at a record pace. Since 2008, the growing brand has received nearly 6,000 franchise applications and generated more than $1 million in franchise fees. Plus, there are now 15 Flip Flop Shops throughout the United States, Caribbean, Guam and Canada in operation and 50 more in the brand's development pipeline.

"We've developed a winning business model and have put into motion a well-managed growth plan with highly qualified franchisees," noted Woods. "This combination has set us up for sustained expansion and we're ecstatic about how many consumers and investors are getting in on the great vibes we're spreading."

Flip Flops Shops' growth strategy calls for 236 locations to open in select markets by 2013.

About Flip Flop Shops

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 15 shops currently operating and 50 more in development, the company plans to open 236 shops by 2013.

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