July 27, 2010 // Franchising.com // VANCOUVER – Three years into its robust expansion plan, Flip Flops Shops has quickly established itself as the premier destination for flip flops and sandals, and one of world's hottest retail concepts earning this year's International Council of Shopping Centers Hot Retailer of the Year Award. Along with the worldwide admiration from industry insiders and franchise investors spanning the globe, Flip Flops Shops has continued to grow its relationship with Soles4Souls, as part of its pledge to help provide footwear for individuals in need.
Today, amid swelling summer heat, the two partners jointly announced plans to kickoff the start of summer 2011 with a month-long charity promotion, nearly a year to the date. Details of the promotion remain to be solidified, but the charitable effort will focus on facilitating Soles4Souls' mission to collect more shoes and distribute more shoes to the people who desperately need them.
"No doubt, we promote a laidback, adventurous lifestyle, but we have a serious commitment to Soles4Souls and want to empower the organization to carry out its mission," said Brian Curin, the President (Size 10) of Flip Flop Shops. "We can't think of a better way to get people psyched about summer, and into the 'Free Your Toes' state of mind than with a cause that so many can connect with on an emotional level."
Less than a year ago Flip Flop Shops and Soles4Souls announced their partnership and instantly all Flip Flop Shops locations became a hub for consumer shoe donations. As part of their Free Your Toes…Bring Your Soles program, customers who bring in a pair of gently used or new close-toe shoes to donate, receive a significant discount on the purchase of new flip flops to Free Their Toes.
"We're thrilled that Flip Flop Shops is working with us to make a difference in the lives of millions of people worldwide," said Wayne Elsey, the founder and CEO (Size 13) of Soles4Souls. "Consumers should stay tuned for the exciting plans we're working on as part of the month-long summer shoe donation drive we're setting up for next year with Flip-Flop Shops."
Through their partnership, Flip Flop Shops recently leveraged its relationship with popular flip flop brand Scott Hawaii to have more than 500 pairs of flip flops donated to Soles4Souls. Additional core brands sold at Flip Flop Shops will be part of next year's charitable summer celebration.
"With our presence expanding quite rapidly we know we can help bring attention to Soles4Souls mission to collect and distribute more footwear," said Darin Kraetsch, the CEO (Size 10) of Flip Flop Shops. "The need for footwear worldwide is tremendous. It's hard to put your arms around the number of individuals that we can impact through our partnership with Soles4Souls.
Bursting onto the retail scene in 2004, Flip Flop Shops quickly became North America's first retail chain exclusive to the hottest brands and latest styles of flip flops and sandals from such leading brands as REEF, Sanuk, Flojos, VANS, Havaianas, OluKai, Cobian and O'NEILL, among others. Their mission: 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.
Today, Flip Flop Shops has locations operating in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, Nevada, Texas, and North Carolina, as well as shops in Canada and Guam. The company will soon open additional shops in Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, Tennessee, South Carolina, Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, and the Caribbean.
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 20 shops currently operating and 50 more in development, the company plans to open 236 shops by 2013.
Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of consumers nationwide. The charity distributes these shoes free of charge to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 10 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently donating one pair every 9 seconds.) The shoes have been distributed to people in over 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States. Soles4Souls has been featured in Runner's World, Ladies' Home Journal, National Geographic's Green Guide, and The New York Times. It has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, BBC, CNN and thousands of regional news outlets across North America. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages.