Flip Flop Shops Catches a Wave to Naples

First retail chain exclusive to flip flops and sandals brings 'Free Your Toes' attitude to the area; Opens first shop in Coastland Center Mall

February 09, 2011 // Franchising.com // NAPLES, Fla. – Flip Flop Shops is exposing its toes in Naples. The only global 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 Naples at Coastland Center Mall, located at 1900 Tamiami Trail North.

"Flip flops have evolved into a premium lifestyle necessity, and Flip Flop Shops was created to fill the void in the retail industry," said Jason Swinford (Size 12), owner of the new Flip Flop Shops in Naples, who opened his first Flip Flop Shops location in Tallahassee in December 2010. "Our goal is to make finding the perfect flip flop a cinch! We offer local consumers an opportunity to indulge in all the hottest brands and latest styles of flip flops at their leisure, with expert product knowledge right at their finger tips."

In addition to the Naples location, company plans call for significant expansion of this one-of-a-kind, laidback brand throughout the Florida market. Swinford is one of 12 entrepreneurial teams spearheading the growth of the brand throughout the state. His Naples shop will be the ninth to open in Florida, while another 11 are planned to open within the next year.

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 Sanuk, Flojos, VANS, havaianas, OluKai, Cobian and O'NEILL, among others – and retail between $20 to over $100.

With more than 35 shops currently operating and 50-plus in development, the Naples opening is part of a well-managed global expansion strategy calling for 236 locations to open in select markets by 2013.

"There are droves of people just as passionate about freeing their toes as Flip Flop Shops," Swinford added. "Flip flops are a total extension of who I am and my lifestyle. I live, work and play with my toes exposed, and wouldn't have it any other way."

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," Swinford said.

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 Sanuk, Flojos, VANS, havaianas, OluKai, Cobian, and O'NEILL. The recipient of the International Council of Shopping Centers' prestigious "Hot Retailer Award," Flip Flop Shops 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 the world's most well-known brands, including Cold Stone Creamery, Moe's Southwest Grill and Nike. With more than 35 shops currently operating and 50-plus in development, the company plans to open 236 shops by 2013.

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