First retail chain exclusive to flip flops and sandals brings 'free your toes' spirit to the area; Opens first shop at Pier Park Mall
July 01, 2010 // Franchising.com // PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - Flip Flop Shops is exposing its toes in Panama City Beach. 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 in Panama City Beach at 201 Bluefish Drive Suite 105 in the Pier Park 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 owner Philip Breeze (Size 12), who grew up on the beaches of Panama City Beach. "I wanted to give my local community a place to turn to when in need of quality flip flops. So often, fall comes around and a number of shops limit their flip flops selection to a few styles. As an avid year-round flip flop wearer, I decided to open my own shop to offer local consumers an opportunity to indulge in all the hottest brands and latest styles at their leisure."
In addition to the Panama City Beach location, plans call for significant expansion of this one-of-a-kind, laidback brand throughout the Northwest Florida market. Already, Breeze plans on opening his second location in Destin next summer. Meanwhile, another franchisee plans on opening a shop in Tallahassee in fall 2010.
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, Cobian and O'NEILL, among others - and retail between $20 to over $100.
The Panama City Beach opening is part of a well-managed North American growth strategy calling for 236 locations to open in select markets throughout North America and the Caribbean by 2013. With 17 shops currently operating and more than 50 in development, the company is also targeting, among others, SoCal, NorCal, Atlanta, New York, South Florida, and the Pacific Northwest for expansion.
"There are droves of people just as passionate about freeing their toes as Flip Flop Shops," Breeze added. "My flip flops are an extension of who I am and what I stand for. I live, work and play with my toes exposed while wearing the freedom of flip flops on my 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," Mike 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, 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 17 shops currently operating and 50 more in development, the company plans to open 236 shops by 2013.