September 11, 2012 // Franchising.com // APPLE VALLEY, Minn. – Clothing trends may come and go, but a smart business model that fills a marketplace niche never goes out of style. That’s why Mainstream Boutique, a women’s clothing and accessories franchise, has seen substantial growth in a tough economy and shows all signs of becoming a powerful force in today’s $50 billion clothing store industry.
The fast-growing franchise, currently with 22 successful boutiques in 10 states and four new locations under development, is set to double in size throughout the next year and have a total of 80 boutiques operating within the next three years. In addition to growing the franchise system, Mainstream Boutique also experienced robust store sales, with an average store sales increase of more than $100,000 between 2010 and 2011.
With a love of fashion and a knack for business, Mainstream Boutique was founded in the early ‘90s by Marie DeNicola as a direct sales company. With decades of experience in the fashion industry as a buyer, merchandiser and planner for large retail companies, DeNicola always dreamed of branching out and running her own company. With the wild success of her direct sales clothing business, an appearance on Oprah as an inspiring female entrepreneur sparked interest nationwide from people wanting to duplicate the business in their community, leading DeNicola to start franchising.
“We’ve managed to carve out a niche by satisfying customer demand for unique and trendy, but affordable fashions,” DeNicola said. “With the buying power of large department stores, but the individuality of an independent boutique, Mainstream Boutique fills the space between the two, literally creating the best of both worlds for our franchisees and for our customers.”
Unlike large department stores that have huge volumes of merchandise, Mainstream Boutique’s typical 1,500 square-foot stores carry smaller quantities of inventory, thus allowing franchise owners to respond quickly to changing trends, giving their customers the latest fashions on the market. “Unlike most retailers who buy for a whole season at once, our franchisees are constantly buying to ensure they always have new and unique fashions,” DeNicola added. “And because we have multiple stores and established relationships with designers and manufacturers, we have buying power that helps control costs for our franchisees and ultimately our customers.”
Mainstream Boutique offers a variety of fashion-forward pieces combined into matchless outfits that consumers can’t find anywhere else. From novelty tops to premium denim and shoes, each Mainstream Boutique location is constantly updating its inventory allowing customers to find new, on-trend items on a weekly basis. On average, novelty tops cost about $45, and premium denim ranges from $60 to $180 depending on the designer. Each Mainstream Boutique location offers pieces from an assortment of brands such as Paige Premium Denim, Miss Me, Rock Revival, and many others.
A self-described hands-on, accessible leader, DeNicola continues to operate the company’s only corporate-owned store in Apple Valley, Minn., keeping her in touch with customers and trends. As a family-owned company, DeNicola and the management team maintain a family-oriented culture throughout the company, with manageable store hours and a balanced lifestyle for franchisees. DeNicola’s son, Corey DeNicola, who operates the franchising arm of the business, said supporting franchisees and setting them up to succeed through initial and ongoing training in all aspects of the business is a No. 1 priority.
“We have an incredibly inspired group of franchise partners who are so cumulatively dedicated to a common goal,” Corey DeNicola said. “Because their passion and dedication is what makes our brand successful, supporting them will always remain at the core of our function as a franchisor.”
Founded in 1991 by Marie DeNicola as a direct sales company, Mainstream Boutique is a women’s retail clothing and accessories franchise that offers a variety of affordable, fashion-forward pieces for women of all ages. The franchise has 22 successful boutiques operating in 10 states with four locations currently under development. The Minnesota based company, which began franchising in 1998, is set to double in size by 2013 with expansion plans in Texas, Illinois, Colorado and Wisconsin. For more information, please contact Corey DeNicola at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on franchise opportunities, visit http://mainstreamboutique.com/newsite/retail-clothing-franchise.
Ashley L. Moses
Fishman Public Relations